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Everything posted by Bells

  1. If nothing of value was exchanged from the meeting, then it stands to reason that the Trump campaign would not have seen Trump tweeting that very day, of an upcoming speech that would discuss Clinton being open to blackmail, a speech that was apparently written by those who attended the meeting with the Russian lawyer, a meeting that was intended to provide them with that information. If the emails did not mention the fact that this information came from the Russian government with the intent expression of helping Trump win the election, then one might claim that meh, perhaps there was nothing really in it. But not only do those emails clearly state they came from the Russian Government who wanted to help Trump win the election, but Trump tweeted that very same day, about having new dirt on Clinton, then within a week, Wikileaks does the document dump of the hacked emails from the DNC, then Trump gives his speech. I think we can all accept that there was something of value exchanged in that meeting. If there was not, Trump would not have been tweeting about new dirt on Clinton that same day. The information was gathered illegally. Had the Trump campaign been open about that meeting, those emails and the repeated contacts from the outset, then perhaps we could say there was nothing really to this, that this just looks dodgy. But the repeated denials, the outright lying.. People do not lie like that unless they have something to hide and in the last 24 hours, Trump Jnr just revealed that they were hiding a doozy. Assange is now tweeting about how he reached out to Trump Jnr to advised him to release the emails, to "get ahead of his enemies", who in this instance happens to be the free press. Those emails show a lengthy negotiation to set up this meeting, knowing full well and from the outset that the information to be presented at that meeting came from the Russian government. Not only that, even when it became clear that the Wikileaks dump of those emails were the result of Russian hacking, had the Trump campaign come out and said that they were contacted by the Russians and told that the Russian government had info on Clinton that could help them and that they had walked out of the meeting, there may have been something to salvage. Instead we have an exchange of emails, at least 3 senior members of his campaign attending a meeting they knew would have information from the Russian government and then lying about it for months.
  2. Bells


    One of the interesting things about that visual is that the counties who benefit the most from the EU by way of funding and aid from the EU voted to leave. By interesting, I actually mean insane. Counties like Cornwall who voted to leave the EU and then when realisation hit that the millions they were receiving from the EU in aid, not to mention the fact that businesses in the county trade predominately with EU countries would see said aid stop and trade slowed or stopped, started to wonder if the UK Government would be able to pay them the same amount each year in aid. It is hard to comprehend the leave vote. One of the biggest losers in this is the science sector in the UK. In the words of Dr. Sarah Main, the Director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering: “This outcome provides a real challenge for our sector. Science is an area where the relationship between the UK and the EU was particularly beneficial. Not least because scientists won billions of pounds of research funding for the UK (€8.8bn between 2007 and 2013), above and beyond what we put in. In addition, free movement of people in the EU made it easy for scientists to travel, collaborate and share ideas with the best in Europe and for companies and universities in the UK to easily access top talent from Europe. Many scientists and engineers will be disappointed. The sector consistently showed huge support for EU membership. Our sector is facing great change with the Higher Education and Research bill currently going through Parliament. And leaving the EU will no doubt have huge additional impact on our universities and research businesses. The general response from the scientific community (Dr Main is but one who released statements on the Brexit vote, other scientists in the UK have also voiced concerns in the same link) is one of dismay and concern. And rightly so. The concern that the UK will not be able to provide equal or adequate funding to the scientific community for research and studies, for example, could very well set them back.
  3. Phi is correct, I should have said GOP lawmakers. And that is the reality of the situation. Male GOP lawmakers have committed more sexual crimes in bathrooms than transgender people have. And yet the moral panic is aimed solely at transgender people. There are no reports of transgender using their transgender status to access women's bathrooms to rape or commit sexual assault. Rape and sexual assault, be it in bathrooms or elsewhere is already illegal, in as much as it is already a criminal act, regardless of one's gender identity. The current push is to paint all transgender women as being possible rapists who lurk in women's bathrooms and change rooms to attack and rape women and girls is not supported by fact. There is no record of any transgender person using their gender identity as women, to deliberately target women in public bathrooms. And yet, this is now a law in some parts of the US? We have shared public bathrooms with transgender people all of our lives. Why is this such a huge issue now? As for Bill Clinton, he had consensual sex with a consenting adult. Last I checked, that was not illegal. Raping and sexually molesting someone in a public toilet, like some GOP lawmakers have done, is illegal. As for the political demographics of rapists, I would say it could be close to 50/50. No one really knows. Rape and sexual assault is illegal, regardless of one's gender status or political affiliation. These bathroom laws are being enacted with the specific intent of supposedly protecting women and girls when they go to the bathroom... But it is already illegal to rape or molest someone in a bathroom. So what is the point of this law? It isn't going to make the women safer. Transgender women aren't lurking in women's toilets so they can rape women. What it will do is increase the risk of rape for transgender women who are now forced to use the men's public bathrooms and change rooms. So who exactly are they meant to be protecting? Or is the point of the law to discriminate against members of the LGBT community? Potential rape victims are safer in a women's bathroom with a transgender woman, than they are going on a date with their boyfriend or going home with their spouse or partner or even going to work with a male colleague. That is a fact. We are more likely to be raped by someone we know and trust and most of the time, it will happen in our own homes and I can attest to that with 100% certainty. I would have been safer in a public restroom with a transgender than I was in my own home. But the fact is that transgender are not lurking in toilets so they can rape women and girls. Men who rape women and girls in public loo's aren't dressing up as women to commit their crimes. These laws are purely for the purpose of discrimination against LGBT.
  4. Until we can address the reasons behind these laws, these laws will continue to keep popping up, politicians will continue to cause unnecessary fear and misrepresent the groups of people based on their gender, race or sexuality and discrimination against them will continue. I mean, look at the rhetoric behind it. The whole 'I don't want some man in the same bathroom as my wife/daughter'. Historically, this goes back to the Separate Spheres ideology. And its roots are deeply sexist and the result is discrimination. At its heart, this law is sexist in a variety of ways and it is deeply homophobic and transphobic. That's the thing, isn't it? Who looks? As a woman, I don't sit there and investigate who is using the stall next to me or washing their hands at the sink next to me. I've been to clubs and pubs with unisex bathrooms and no one cared. A lot of the bathrooms in my home state here in Australia are unisex anyway. Sharing a public restroom with a transexual or even men (I've seen some men bring their little girls into the women's bathrooms because the men's room had open urinals and the girls felt more comfortable in the women's bathroom) is the least of my concerns with public restrooms. It's never something I'd even thought about. What does concern me is that there is toilet paper, the toilet is clean and the seat is dry and it flushes, the doors work (nothing worse than the door drifting open when you are sitting down) and there is soap and somewhere or something to dry one's hands with. That is what concerns me with public restrooms. It's safe to say that we have shared public bathrooms with transexuals all our lives. Why is it suddenly such a big issue? The irony of these laws that demand that you have to use the bathroom of the gender you were born with means that now men will be forced to use the women's bathrooms. They don't want to be there, but it is now illegal for them to use the men's bathroom. And now women are being forced to use the men's bathrooms and change rooms, because they were born with a vagina. And this will open these women to sexual assault. Which is horrific. Especially for child and teenage transgender and cisgender. I had wondered about how this was to be policed, but it seems that it has led to people literally accosting women entering the bathrooms, because these men believe that these women are male. They are basing it on appearance. Which is ironic because now the law states that transgender men are legally required to use the women's bathroom. What's going to happen to these transgender men who are now forced to use the women's bathroom by law? The risk to their lives is extreme. What's worse, the State of Kansas is now attempting to pass a Bill, which would provide for students to sue their school or university for $2500 if they see or discover they are sharing a public bathroom with someone who is transgender. With only two weeks left in the Kansas legislation session, state lawmakers have introduced a pair of bills that would prohibit transgender students from using restrooms that match their gender. The “Student Physical Privacy Act” would apply not only to public schools, but all public universities in the state as well, guaranteeing that anyone who saw someone transgender in the bathroom could sue their school for $2,500 for every time that it happened. The complementary bills (SB 513 and HB 2737) declare in no uncertain terms that transgender students are going to harm other students just by using the same facility alongside them. “Allowing students to use restrooms, locker rooms and showers that are reserved for students of a different sex will create potential embarrassment, shame, and psychological injury to students,” they read. [...] But transgender students are apparently such a threat to their peers that these lawmakers believe anyone who has to be in a restroom for them should have grounds for a suit. If a student encounters someone “of the opposite sex,” they have a private cause of action against the school. The aggrieved student is entitled to $2,500 for every time they saw someone transgender in the restroom, plus “monetary damages for all psychological, emotional and physical harm suffered as a result of a violation of this section.” This particular provision would open a significant liability to many of the state’s universities. Schools like the University of Kansas, Kansas State of University, Washburn University, and several community colleges have policies on the books protecting against discrimination based on gender identity. Any transgender students currently depending on those protections would immediately open the school to lawsuits from their classmates. I am still trying to wrap my head around that one. How are people going to know, unless they actively start perving at the people in the bathroom? And people buy into it. They are being fed these myths about the risk to women and girls from paedophiles and rapists, when rape and sexual assault in bathrooms is already illegal and there is no indication or evidence that transexuals pose a risk to women and girls in bathrooms. It is all based on a myth. The myth that transexuals and homosexuals are paedophiles. And that men will suddenly start dressing like women to rape women and girls in public bathrooms. Apparently none of the supporters of these laws understand or recognise that they have been sharing public bathrooms with transexuals all their lives. And that women and girls are more at risk of rape from men they know and trust, in their own homes. Ermm your first link is about a sexual predator who identifies as a transexual who assaulted people in a shelter. Do you think these bathroom laws would have prevented him from raping? Are you aware that rape is illegal anyway, as such, raping someone is a crime and his being a transexual has no bearing on his being a criminal or a rapist? In other words, he wasn't using his sexual identity to gain access to women and girls to rape them. Your second link is of a man who went into a women's change room and tried to declare that transexuals can use the women's change room so he could to. Despite the fact he wasn't a transexual and he did not identify as a woman or transexual.
  5. That was not my intention. What other motives? Is there a history of this occurring? Have there been sexual assaults or rapes by men who pass themselves off as transgender to access the women's bathrooms? The answer to that is no. The irony of this ridiculous legislation is that more Republican men have been arrested for sexual misconduct in bathrooms while there are no reports of transgender being arrested for sexual misconduct in bathrooms. This law and the ridiculous paranoia it has encouraged now has people looking at appearance and it is discriminating against women, transgender and cisgender women. Women are being accosted and removed from the women's toilets because men don't believe they are women. And this is based solely on appearance or the perception or belief of what women should look like from the men in question. This is abhorrent. Someone who identifies as a woman, should be using the women's toilets. And someone who identifies as a man, should be using the men's toilets. The whole argument of ulterior motives is based on a myth. A dangerous myth that is costing lives. And frankly, when I go to the bathroom, I am not even looking at what women look like. We don't stand there and look at women's appearances to see if they belong there, nor do we peek under cubicle doors to see if the women in there are women.
  6. Yes. And? There are no reported incidents of transgender women raping women and there is no indication that sexual assaults in public restrooms against heterosexual women are caused by transgender women. In other words, there are no reports of this happening. And this goes for transgender women who haven't gone through the hormone therapy or surgeries involved in transitioning. One has to question how or why this is suddenly such an issue and where this sudden fear has stemmed from. It's hard enough for transgender to live in society, because of the constant abuse, harassment and discrimination. This just adds to that. This issue is a human rights issue. These laws existed in the past, but back then, they targeted people of colour.
  7. I don't even know where to begin.. Firstly, men aren't saying they feel like women so they can use the women's bathroom or locker room. Secondly, this whole debate is sexist and homophobic. Sexist because women are now being accosted by strange men and even the police for trying to use public restrooms, because these men don't think they look enough like a woman. Thirdly, trans have been using the bathroom of the gender they identify with for decades, without incident. This whole thing is a sexist moral panic from the right with absolutely no foundation in reality. The complaint about sexual assault when the reality is that a woman or girl is more likely to be sexually assaulted by the man she shares a bathroom with in her own home seems to have escaped everyone's notice. Or perhaps it hasn't escaped their notice. The whole bathroom debate is being placed solely on the shoulders of women, to further human rights abuses and discrimination of LGBT.. Not to mention this whole male desire to protect women from rape from transexuals is about control. It is about men being afraid that a "man" might see "their women" naked. A transexual woman is not a "man". She is a woman. Unless you think men are going to go through the horrors of hormone therapy, breast implants and surgery just to be able to perve at your wife or daughter? Fourthly, these laws are now literally forcing men to use the same public bathrooms and change rooms as women. How? Because the law that you don't oppose stipulates that you can only use the public bathroom facilities of the gender you were born with. This means that men, who were born female but transitioned to male, are now being forced to use the women's bathroom. It means this guy: Will now be forced to use the women's bathroom because he was born female. He doesn't want to use the women's bathroom, but it is now illegal for him to use the men's room where he actually belongs. Not to mention that women are now also being forced to use the men's room, because they were born male, and this will risk their safety and wellbeing because they can very well be raped or attacked by the men they are now forced to share a bathroom with. Worse still, transgender children are now being placed at risk because transgender girls are now going to be forced to use the men's room because of their gender at birth. Surely you don't need me to explain to you how dangerous this will be for them? And finally, if a paedophile or rapist is going to enter the women's bathroom to rape or molest women and/or girls, they aren't dressing as women to do so and if you think rape or paedophilia's illegality is going to stop them from raping and molesting women and children.. frankly, it is impolite of me to reflect or comment on your naivety.
  8. That is a terrific cartoon. I abhor the Government's reactions to terror attacks, from laws like the Patriot Act, to laws and policies that specifically target Muslims, such as Hijab and halal meat bans. For a variety of reasons. From denying equal rights and protections to all, to Government overreach over people's personal and individual rights, to such laws and policies driving a wedge in society in general and having a different set of sub-set of rules depending on one's religious beliefs. Most of all, it is such laws and policies, such as over-policing of Muslims (the incarceration rate of Muslims is much higher than non-Muslims in Europe, not because they commit more crimes, but because they are policed more and targeted more than others). The rise of the right wing and these policies and laws will only drive Muslims further towards radicalisation, because they feel left out of society, lack of employment prospects or possibilities, reduced access to education, which all drive poverty.. Which in turn increases the risk of radicalisation. It becomes a vicious cycle. Not exactly. Groups that have been marginalised and denied rights in America's history have pretty much all been connected to acts that would, by today's standard, be classified as terrorist attacks. And it is not just those who are actually marginalised. There have been many white terrorist groups who have committed acts of terrorism because of ideological differences or because they are simply racist and bigoted and disagreed with policies that allowed non-whites equal rights or women the right to control over their own reproductive organs - ergo, these particular terrorists caused mass terror because they perceived they were losing their rights because minorities were given rights. Look at Ireland or Spain as a prime example of the non-Muslims committing acts of terror. Or Kony in Africa. Decades of Western involvement and policies in the Middle East for one. From deep involvement in the politics in the region, to supporting one side over the other to disastrous results (Iraq and/or Iran anyone?). The result has been decades to a generation of oppression by leaders that we helped put in place and then of course comes the instability from the wars we started in the region. Then of course comes the decades of supporting despotic regimes and overlooking gross human rights violations committed against their populations and in many instances, providing them with military and financial support to do so. Not to mention the laws and policies the West has put in place that marginalises Muslims and denies them their rights, from over policing which leads to over-representation in the criminal justice system, to downright racist and bigoted policies that target how they dress, what they eat, where they live, what education they are able to access and supporting racist and bigoted attitudes towards them. Secondly, the terrorists striking Europe are not refugees. So it is neither appropriate or correct to make such a statement.
  9. We shall respectfully disagree then. But hey, at least I finally managed to address the OP in the final paragraphs..
  10. There have been some papers about this.. One famous study, "The Role of Moral Disengagement in the Execution Process" touches on this issue quite well. I think it will pretty much answer all the questions the OP has. Do they suffer trauma? They suffer from stress, but they are also able to distance themselves somewhat, sometimes. Yes, of course if affects them, but the manner in which the executioners themselves are able to distance themselves is interesting as it is worrying. As the Osofsky study found: Members of the execution team adopted a firm compartmentalization of their worklife and homelife: “My life is like a switch. I turn it on when I get here and turn it off when I leave. I won’t let myself take my job home.” The compartmentalization of their worklife extended to their other social relationships as well: “We don’t speak about it and we don’t talk about what we do back there. We do our job proudly, but we don’t want to talk about it with anyone.” Psychosocial severance of one’s worklife reduced social evaluative stressors, but the management of one’s psychic life presented coping challenges. Executioners tried to control unwanted thoughts about the executions mainly by thought suppression: “I don’t try to think about it. I look at it as a job. I don’t take it home and I don’t discuss it with my kinds. I treat it as a job.” Efforts to ban unwanted thoughts may only exacerbate the cognitive control problem because the very negation of the thought contains the thought (Wegner, 1989). Some of the participants described unwanted intrusions as a lingering problem. “After it was over, I was satisfied with the way it had turned out and that we had done such a good job with no glitches. I was really pleased, but at the same time, the execution kept bringing up a lot of emotions.” [Source] It is a very interesting study and I found it a tad disturbing because I am against the death penalty, mostly because I find it difficult to understand how they can simply switch off that way and I am concerned that they are able to do it and the fact that they do then have to cope with the emotions that bubble up to the surface. And I ask myself, whether better systems should be in place to help these men and women. But that is a subject matter for another thread. Michael Osofsky also wrote a shorter paper on the subject of how executioners cope, which can be accessed here: "The Psychological Experience of Security Officers Who Work With Executions". ________________________ Works cited: * Osofsky, Michael J., Albert Bandura, and Philip G. Zimbardo. "The Role of Moral Disengagement in the Execution Process." Law and Human Behavior 29.4 (2005): 371-93. University of Kentucky. 4 Aug. 2005. Web. <http://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Bandura/Bandura2005LHB.pdf>. * Osofsky, Michael J. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes 65.4 (2002): 358-70. May 2002. Web. <http://web.stanford.edu/group/journal/cgi-bin/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Osofsky_SocSci_2002.pdf>.
  11. You were asking questions that were not pertinent to the subject matter of the thread. For example (or hypothetically speaking), say a thread is about the sun. You then come along ask questions seeking to clarify a proposal about planetary rotation because someone said the word "planets" in their response. In other words, Bob, you are asking questions about something completely unrelated to the actual subject as detailed in the OP. What you should do instead is do some research and if you still aren't clear about planetary rotation (as an example), you start a different thread about it, which would be within the rules. If you asked questions about the sun itself within the parameters set in the OP, you would not be breaking the rules. What is very apparent is that you are asking questions about subjects that are not related to the thread itself in any way. - Please note, this is just a simple example/hypothetical. So please do not now turn around and say you never did exactly what I just set out in this example/hypothetical. They have explained this to you numerous times. It's not that hard. Have a little system in place if you are not sure.. 1) Look at the thread topic and opening post of any given thread that you are participating in. 2) Then ask yourself if the question or what you wish to discuss falls within the parameters set down in the opening thread. 3) If the answer is yes, then ask the question or post your commentary. 4) If the answer is no, start a new thread or try and find if another thread already exists which is discussing what it is you wish to discuss or ask questions about. Simple steps.
  12. Oh? Perhaps you should go back and read exactly what you said and how you worded your response. Here is what I said: This was your response: So which was the overreaction? The evacuation? Or the shutting down of transport hubs and shutting the airport down? Just so we are clear. And if you wish to discuss intellectual dishonesty, you should look at how you cut out the bottom part of the 'timetable of events', which clearly supported my comments about how it took 2 hours from the airport attacks before they shut down all transportation systems and started to close the roads. I made the comments here: http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/94076-what-is-politics-of-toleration/?p=912320 which also included a link to the timetable of events as they occurred. And here: http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/94076-what-is-politics-of-toleration/page-2#entry912527 Now, Sir, in your previous post to me, you said that it took 20 minutes instead of 2 hours. It took 20 minutes to shut down the trains arriving to the airport after the bomb went off at the airport. Which I had also commented on and then remarked that it took them 2 hours to shut down the whole system. To wit, you misrepresented what I actually said because you made it seem as though I was talking about it taking 2 hours to shut down the trains to the airport when I had clearly remarked twice, with supporting links, that it took them 2 hours to shut down the whole transport system and network. Talk about not even being close to what I had said. What about them? They were not detailed in the threats issued. The threats were against the airport and the train system. The threats were made against the airport and train system, they captured one terrorist and did not even ask him about any of the bomb making equipment they had found in residences that contained his DNA and fingerprints, nor what was in his immediate vicinity upon capture. Despite threats having been received and warnings of an imminent attack on the airport and transport system that included the railways. If people are incapable of recognising, discussing and fixing what is clearly broken in the intelligence community in Belgium and Europe, then more people will die. If you think identifying obvious weaknesses, and these weaknesses have been noted for a while now, since the first attacks in Paris and since they have consistently failed to keep track of returning Jihadists, despite warnings from other countries of the dangers these people posed to Belgium and Europe, is an 'emotional overreaction driven by little more than our reptilian brains and baser instincts', then I suggest you drive your car at high speed without wearing a seatbelt, because taking such precautions could also be seen as an emotional overreaction being driven by fear of dying in a motor vehicle accident. Jokes aside, and I mean that in the sense that I would suggest you not drive your car at high speed, nor would I ever recommend you not wear a seatbelt, there has been a distinct lack of security or notice of the dangers returning Jihadists posed in Belgium. Cooler heads and a less emotive response could have been had by taking the threats seriously, especially in light of the fact they found bomb making equipment in the lead up to the capture of a known bomber and terrorist. Instead, they did nothing. Other countries have been commenting on Belgium's lack of response to these threats for a while now. They have provided them with enough intelligence which could very well have resulted in these latest attacks being much less successful. But they did little to nothing about the warnings they have received, the intelligence they have received or the direct threats they did receive which specifically targeted what was bombed. As a lawyer and a former prosecutor, if such a case came in front of me, I could tear it to shreds and it needs to be torn to shreds. Because the manner in which the authorities downplayed any threats and tried to carry on as though no threat was made or existed, cost people their lives and will do so again in the future. This could have been prevented or lessened. The only saving grace they had was that the 3rd bomb at the airport did not explode and that the biggest bomb did not fit in the taxi. I am absolutely appalled that it took them so long to even beef up security at their nuclear power plants after the attacks took place. As I asked and which you did not respond to. As a civilian and a member of the public, what would cause more panic? Metal detectors and increased security at places that have received direct threats and after bomb making material and clear indication that something was going to happen? Or having a bomb go off resulting in much greater disruption to people's lives, not to mention multiple death and injuries and then go 'oops, would've, could've, should've'? Personally, I would pick the increased security. But that's just me. But apparently this makes me the kind of person who is responding to my corpus amygdaloideum and baser instincts from the most primitive part of my brain stem and I am obviously being overly emotional about it [you can insert the giant eyeroll here if you wish]. My main issue with this subject is not so much the response of the authorities in the aftermath of the bombing as it is in the events leading up to this, from years ago. What we have in the aftermath, as always happens, is the pitchforks and burning torches aimed directly at Muslims, while completely disregarding the failures of the intelligence system, not to mention the failures of the Government in addressing what leads young Muslim men to becoming radicalised in the first place. They ignored all of the warning signs and they ignored how their policies and the legal system unfairly targeted Muslims, leading to a much higher rate of Muslims feeling like they no longer have a place in Belgium, which in turn led to so many of their youth then going to fight for Jihadists in Syria and Iraq. The signs were evident for years. And they did nothing to alleviate the problems they faced, with the lack of access to employment and education of Muslims in the country, which led to absolute poverty for the majority of Muslims in the country, and then of course we have bans on the hijab and other Muslim clothing, and threats and bans on halal meats.. The over-representation of Muslims in the criminal justice system and the radicalisation of Muslim youth that occurred right in their faces. There is a reason why Belgium has so many fighters going to join Jihadists. The writing was on the wall for a long time. Instead of focusing on 'what is the politics of toleration', we should instead be looking at the result of intolerance in many parts of Europe and elsewhere. The fault of this lies in the policies in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe, which turned Muslims into second class citizens and where their rights were infringed upon and their rights to practice their religious belief were infringed upon. Cooler heads would prevail if these pertinent issues were addressed. Failure to address it, along with the failure to respond to threats, will eventually lead to terrorist attacks. But hey, I best be quiet because this might be my 'reptilian brain' responding..
  13. And I am simply arguing that when a direct threat is made to a building or organisation or system, then precautionary measures need to be put in place. None were. A bomb goes off and you think evacuating the building was "a bit of an overreaction"? Or do you think taking precautionary measures after receiving direct threats is an overreaction? Keep in mind, they were able to stroll through the airport with multiple bombs undetected, along with their guns. This is after a direct threat was made to the airport itself and they knew that something was going to happen after they found bomb making material. It's as though they had 1 + 1 = 5, so they just ignored everything inbetween and carried on as normal. When threats are made, they need to be investigated and yes, precautions need to be implemented. It's not about creating terror in the population. It's about trying to ensure the safety of the population. Ask anyone who survived that bomb what they would find more terrifying. A stronger police and security presence at the airport, checking everyone who entered and going through metal detectors because of a credible threat, or having a bomb blow up, killing and injuring dozens of people. The reaction to the threats, the warnings that the people returning from Syria and fighting for ISIS posed a threat, and these individuals were even named and at least one was deported from another country and they were warned of who he was, who he had fought for and his expertise, and they ignored it, the discovery of bomb making material in conjunction with those threats and even the bombs going off in the airport was damning. As you say, details do matter. It's what happens when they ignored all the details that is the worry and concern. Really? I thought you found the reaction to it to be an overreaction. I have to wonder though, if they had heeded the warnings they received and intelligence they received, if any would have had to die at the Metro station. Instead, they allowed the trains to continue to run, despite the threats and warnings, despite one attack having taken place. I think their reactions to the threats and warnings, or more to the point, their lack of action in the face of those threats and warnings, deserves greater scrutiny. Obviously you disagree and that is fine. To each their own. Yep, and then scroll down your own article. What is astonishing is that as this was taking place and in the immediate aftermath of the bombs going off at the airport, people were still arriving by train and car for a fair while before they blocked off access. I cannot even begin to imagine who that would have impeded rescue vehicles from accessing the area in that time. Worse still, they did not know if there would be more and they were trying to evacuate the building, but people were still able to arrive there for that length of time afterwards. The French Government in France had the time to hold an emergency meeting before the authorities shut down the whole transport system in Belgium. As I had noted and quoted and linked in previous posts in this thread, they did not shut down the whole network until 10:00am, 2 hours after the initial attack at the airport. Even after the bomb went off in the train at the Metro station, it took them over 15 minutes to shut down the Metro system and station itself. The whole transport network was not shut down until 10:00am. Do you know what is scarier in the link you posted. The Belgium authorities did not boost security around its nuclear power plants until 11:25am. And this is despite warnings, threats and known jihadists returning to Belgium after being deported from other countries for for being suspected terrorists who had been fighting with ISIS. Worse still, they were on the US terror watch list and the Belgians did nothing.. The taxi driver who drove them to the airport had a better reaction time. And it gets worse.. Despite the discovery of detonators, weapons, and Abdeslam’s fingerprints in a safe house days earlier and growing evidence that the Brussels terror network was stronger than previously understood, law enforcement officials only briefly questioned Abdeslam because he was still recovering from surgery after being shot in the leg during his apprehension, according to a senior Belgian security official, who asked for anonymity to speak about the investigation. “He seemed very tired and he had been operated on the day before,” the official said, adding that law enforcement officials did not question him again before Tuesday. “They were not thinking about the possibilities of what happened on Tuesday morning,” said a second source with knowledge of the process. Attorney Sven Mary, who represents Abdeslam, confirmed to POLITICO that prosecutors had spoken only briefly with his client between his arrest and the time of the attacks. “Once. Yes,” Mary said Thursday outside the court where he attended a pre-trial hearing related to the Abdeslam case. Thierry Werts, a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor, declined to comment. ---------------------------------- Even as officials warned publicly over the weekend that further attacks were possible, Belgian authorities decided not to raise the terror alert to its highest level — as they did several days after the Paris attacks — because they said they had no evidence that another strike was imminent. “We can only warn our citizens on the basis of concrete information and plans,” said Peter Mertens, spokesman for the interior ministry’s crisis center. “In this case, we didn’t have enough to raise it to 4. Our services didn’t know about this attack. We didn’t have precise information on the preparation of an attack.” And this is despite direct threats having been received about an imminent attack on the airport and also the rail system... Despite the discovery of bomb making equipment, they did nothing. They didn't even increase security in the places that had received direct threats.. They questioned him for about an hour and did not ask him anything about the discovery of the bomb making equipment.. I know, you consider even the prospect of raising security to be an emotional overreaction, but I don't. They stuffed up. It's no wonder the Belgian authorities and Government ministers are handing in their resignations..
  14. Oh I understood your point. It seems clear that you missed my point that there is a vast difference between a major explosion that leaves bodies in its wake and structural damage and an idiot with a firecracker. To wit, the effects of the explosion were (and are) immediate. Had it been a firecracker, there would not have been such obvious destruction. Ergo, someone using a firecracker to try to prompt a response from emergency personnel and say, shutting down things like transport and evacuating buildings, would clearly not have the same effect or response because of a) the lack of dead and injured people on the ground which is usually very apparent when a large explosion occurs and b) the absolute lack of structural damage which is also very apparent immediately. Hence why it is so quickly and immediately possible to determine the difference between a firecracker and a bomb or say, a gas explosion. Unless of course you think immediate evacuation and shutting down of very public areas like transport hubs in the aftermath of an explosion or bombing is an overblown response or over-reaction? I would like to imagine that was a poor choice of words on your part. The fact that they immediately evacuated the airport indicated that they knew it was an explosion (and not, say, an idiot with a firecracker). So it defies logic that in evacuating the airport, it took them that long to stop the trains from reaching the airport to begin with, trains that would have been carrying more people into a situation that was still developing and fluid and could have further endangered lives, especially when one considers that there were still explosives in the building. In other words, they were evacuating the airport and people were even being rushed onto the tarmac away from the airport building, while still allowing trains to run into the airport, trains that were carrying passengers. So they were effectively evacuating out one door, while allowing more people in in the other door. Does this make sense to you? Because it does not to me. They knew immediately that it was a large explosion and not, to use your example, a firecracker. There was severe structural damage and numerous bodies lying dead or injured. They immediately evacuated the whole building. And yet, the trains were still running into the building. This doesn't make sense to me. Coupled with the fact that they had been warned for quite a while, before the event, that there was an active threat against the airport and their train system, it was a pretty sure bet that the two large explosions in the departure lounge was not accidental or a joke by a jerk with a firecracker. So it does raise my eyebrows to consider that knowing of the immediate threat to the airport and the train system, that after explosions went off at the airport and they had an hour to determine it was a bomb and that perhaps, just perhaps, the warnings they had received were real, that they did not take precautionary measures and shut down the train system and public transport systems just in case. Worse still, after the bomb exploded in the Metro station, just as they were warned about, an hour after the bombs went off at the airport, it still took them over an hour to shut down the transport system. To put it bluntly, they knew there was an attack imminent. They had arrested and detained one known attacker. They found bomb making material. They did not up security in the buildings and for the systems they had received direct and fairly specific warnings about. They did not shut down the train system even after the first bombings occurred, despite knowing the train system was also a target. They allowed that to run for another hour, and when the second bomb went off at the Metro station, as warned about, it still took them over an hour after that to stop the trains. Understand my point now?
  15. I would expect within the first 10-15 minutes at least. What we saw in Belgium was that all was shut down after 2 hours from the first attack. It was clearly not a firecracker. There is a vast difference between a firecracker and 2 large explosions in quick succession.. The evacuation of the airport was ongoing while the train system was still running from the airport. So at a wild guess, I think they knew it wasn't a firecracker. The authorities need to start heeding warnings of impending attacks a bit better. The security services knew, with a high degree of certainty, that attacks were planned in the very near future for the airport and, apparently, for the subway as well. Despite the advance warning, the intelligence and security preparedness in Brussels, where most of the European Union agencies are located, was limited in its scope and insufficient for the severity and immediacy of the alert. ------------------------------------- Abdeslam's arrest was apparently the trigger for Tuesday's attacks, due to the concern in ISIS that he might give information about the planned attacks under interrogation, particularly in the light of reports that he was cooperating with his captors. The testimony of the detained terrorist, alongside other intelligence information, part of which concerned ISIS operations in Syria, should have resulted in much more stringent security preparedness in crowded public places in Brussels, along with a heightened search for the cell. [Source] Well there needs to be better screening, because at present, there is very little screening and services made available for refugees entering Europe, but that is beside the point and does not really have anything to do with this discussion or thread topic. Leaving them in little tents in the cold just creates a breeding ground for radicalisation. Having said that, there is no evidence to suggest that the terrorists involved in Belgium or even Paris were refugees. They were born and bred and radicalised in those respective countries. They were not refugees. Belgium is in a particularly difficult place, since they have a very high percentage of Muslim fighters returning from fighting in Syria and Iraq. Plus the fact that many of the Muslim youth in the country are open and susceptible to radicalisation, due to lack of access to employment and education for them and with a higher than normal imprison rate, they are literally rape for picking for radicalisation. Radical Islamists target and prey on the weak. It is why radicalisation in prisons is so high, as we saw in Paris, where so many of the terrorists who struck there were radicalised during prison stints. Desperate young men and women, with little prospect of employment, who do not have great access to education, who are over-represented in the criminal justice system are the ones being radicalised. The terrorists aren't flooding into Europe. They lived there already and they were recruited in Europe. Improving services and access to better education and employment prospects, improving their living standards will probably go a long long way in reducing the numbers being radicalised. Intolerance and bigotry will only drive these desperate youth towards the radical preachers who are telling them that everyone else hates them.
  16. Well, not really. Evacuating public areas like this are pretty much standard fare after such attacks. But it took two separate incidents for them to react by shutting down all transport hubs. On the one hand, terrorists have a chance of escaping through public transport networks and the airport had a train station that went right underneath it. And on the other hand, it is a means of keeping people safe by removing them from danger while they check each of these transport hubs. It isn't impossible to shut down transport systems. To put it into some perspective, and how time is crucial, at the airport, the bombs went off at 8:00am. The train network to and from the airport was shut down 20 minutes later. The bomb at the Metro station went off at 9:10am. They shut down the rail system at 9:27am. Trains were still running between that time. It wasn't until 10:00am that they shut down the whole transport network, including trains, buses and road closures and people were told to remain where they were. Two hours is an awfully long time to implement such measures. Especially after everything we have learned and experienced from these attacks. Anywho, this is way off topic, so my apologies.
  17. I think the bigger issue with Brussels is that they were not as vigilant as they could have been or should have been. The airport bombers were reportedly able to enter the departure check-in area armed with guns and bombs and an hour after that, they were able to attack the Metro station. Questions must be raised as to how their attacks were able to be so successful. Why weren't all systems shut down immediately after the first blast at the airport? Why weren't the train lines effectively shut down immediately after the airport attack? How were they able to enter the airport so well armed and with bombs? I mean, I dropped my mother off at the airport yesterday and it was a domestic flight. And the amount of security we went through to, even to just get to the departure lounge, was, in my opinion at the time, ridiculous. I got home and a couple of hours later, news of the attacks hit the news. I don't think it's so ridiculous anymore. Other countries have fairly well defined communications systems and Muslims themselves have dobbed in people they suspect of being terrorists. Belgium does not appear to have this in place and the intelligence on the many radicalised cells in the country itself seems to be fairly thin. Belgium has some of the highest rate of returned fighters from the Middle East. And there appears to be a lack of information sharing between agencies in Belgium, which probably contributed to their being able to be so successful in their attacks. A lot of these issues were flagged since the Paris attacks and they do not appear to have made much headway in that regard. I think the issue in Belgium is a lack of vigilance and they have been playing catch up. There is also a lack of information sharing between agencies in Belgium and with its neighbours, as the events after the Paris attacks show. While it would be impossible to prevent all terrorist attacks in the current climate, what is astonishing is that in a country with a high amount of radical Islamist's, that they were able to be so successful. That they weren't more vigilant.
  18. Bells

    Donald Trump

    The only person who can explain Trump's beliefs is Trump. But there is something that perhaps, the Republicans have failed to take into account. Trump allegedly supports medicare and social security, because he probably recognised that so many Republican voters benefit from these policies and programs. You know, those grass roots right wing conservatives who worked in blue collar jobs, who were financially not in a position to save for their retirement so that they could be self funded retirees, or are facing that prospect in the future and who will need to rely on social benefits to see them through? Look at how Mike Huckabee sees it and what Trump has tapped into.. What will it take for Republicans in Washington to keep their promise to America’s seniors and keep their hands off Social Security and Medicare? Members of Congress and federal employees receive automatic pay raises each year, yet 70 million Americans will NOT receive a Social Security cost of living increase next year. How is this right? Sadly, the establishment elites treat Social Security and Medicare like WELFARE benefits. This is completely unacceptable, appalling, and flat-out wrong—these are EARNED benefits. Seniors are getting stabbed in the back while the Washington Republican establishment tells them it’s a back massage! One of my fellow candidates has told Americans to “get over it” when it comes to cutting Social Security and Medicare. Another has proposed cutting benefits to current seniors, even those who worked more than 50 years paying into the system. Social Security and Medicare aren't optional, they are mandatory programs. Washington forcibly confiscates money from every Americans' paycheck and promises it will be there when they retire. How can our government rob money from American workers for 40, 50, and 60 years and then refuse to keep its promise? Like many other Americans, I’ve been paying into these programs since I was 14-years-old and started working for a paycheck. Sixty million Americans depend on Social Security, and almost 70 percent of seniors rely on Social Security for more than half of their income. Most Republican candidates for president support cuts to Social Security and Medicare. [...] Washington has done enough lying and stealing. I refuse to let Washington swindle America’s seniors and sabotage Social Security and Medicare. After all, who’s to blame for the system's challenges, hardworking American beneficiaries or Congress? If Washington lies, cheats, and steals benefits the American people were promised and forced to pay, then Washington politicians better be prepared to lose every single election. Theft and deceit are NOT American values and most certainly NOT conservative principles. As president, I promise you will get what you paid for. This ties in directly to what you were saying in post #10 in this thread. The white working class, are peeved that their tax dollars has benefited the so called "Washington elites" and the "establishment" politicians in the Republican Party and those same politicians are demanding that the pensions and benefits the white working class worked for, should be cut. And you ask why Trump is so popular even though he supports these programs? The right of the right wing of the Republican Party are distinctly racist, hold views and opinions that make most people's hair curl in dismay. They have been repeatedly advised for years and years, that they should not support or vote for "establishment" or the "Washington elites". They are not wealthy, but instead pay their taxes, and expect to get something in return, by way of social security and pensions which they do not consider to be welfare. They rail against anyone who is on welfare, because they view welfare payments as being their tax dollars going to people they view as being lazy and/or black. This is what years of telling voters to not vote for establishment candidates and to not vote for politicians will result in and it has. Trump has tapped directly into their most racist heart, their most revolting parts of the human psyche, brought forth the fear that they have been fed for years from the Right and he has put it out there for all to see and they are lapping it up. And to top it off, they see him as recognising their hard work by not cutting their pension or social security, which they feel they are entitled to because they worked so hard for it. The Republican Party created and allowed these horrific attitudes that Trump claims are his winning points. They allowed it to fester, they pandered to it and enabled it. Even when Trump's policies were being shouted about by the "party base", the very heart of the party who are now made up of the right wing fundamentalists, the Party itself did not try to distance themselves away. They sat on the fence, stated that they would support him if he won the nomination. This was their chance to clean out the party of people's beliefs that are detrimental to its very survival. The racists, bigoted right wing Christian fundamentalists who are intent on turning the US into a Christian utopia and all that entails. But they pandered some more. Trump has taken all of that and wrapped it up into one brightly tangerine package and they are unable to stop him. This is their creation. Kind of like Frankenstein's monster. And like Frankenstein, it could very well be their undoing. And frankly, anyone who advocates for not voting for "establishment" candidates because they are politicians, is a part of the problem of what the Republican Party faces today and will face in the future. It is only enabling a further push to the ultra right and for the likes of Trump. Why? Because the very notion of a moderate is now a dirty notion in the Republican Party. They want their pensions, they want their social security, but they don't want Blacks or Hispanics to be able to access what they deem to be welfare or even something like food stamps, because they see themselves as being better than Blacks or Hispanics, they want the Government to manage their money better to suit their needs, they want their religious ideology to play a bigger role in the day to day running of the country and in the laws themselves, they want to be allowed to own as many guns as they want without restriction, they demand that women not be allowed to have abortions, they want migrants out and not be allowed to enter the country because 'dey took our juuuuubs'. Any candidate who does not follow these ideologies are not like them, would have to be part of the educated "elites" from Washington.
  19. Bells

    Donald Trump

    Because the working class were virtually told, nay, it was drilled into their heads over the last few years, that someone who is "anti-establishment", "not Washington", is what is best for them and the country. For the past several years, leading voices of what Matt Lewis has called “con$ervative” media, along with groups like Heritage Action, and politicians such as Senator Ted Cruz, have ceaselessly flogged the false storyline that the Republican “grassroots” have been betrayed by the Republican leadership in Washington. Rather than aim their anger at President Obama and the Democrats, commentators such as Ann Coulter and Mark Levin, right-wing websites, and many others have instead repeated the libel that “Republicans gave Obama everything he wanted.” There has been a flavor of the “stab in the back” to these accusations. But for the treachery of the Republican party, they claim, a party too timorous or too corrupt to stand up to Obama, we could have defunded Obamacare, balanced the budget, halted the Iran deal, you name it. [...] So congratulations to those conservatives who’ve been preaching the “betrayal” of the base by the establishment. You’ve won. You’ve convinced 70 percent of the Republican primary electorate (per the CBS poll) that the most important quality in a candidate is that he will “shake up the political system.” [Source] I may disagree with the general sentiment espoused by Mona Charen, for The National Review, those few paragraphs go to the heart of the matter when it comes to Trump's support within the Republican Party and what they tout as being the Republican base. It is why the Tea Party candidates did so well previously. They have been told, repeatedly, that "establishment" Republicans, or "RINOS" as they put it, were not representative of the values of the Republican base, of the working class Republicans. And we have seen previously how Tea Party candidates were running against fellow Republicans and winning, because they represented anti-establishment values and were not like the Republican politicians. This has been a running theme for a while now. Those very people who pushed the line that the conservatives serving in the Senate and Congress were not really Republican enough, or they were part of the "establishment", the "Washington elite", are now facing having someone like Trump win the candidacy for the Republican Party, because voters took them seriously and they are looking to the non establishment and non-politician candidate. Not only that, but the Republican Party has been pandering to anti-immigration and racist ideology for a few decades now, they have pandered to the far right for so long, that the far right has grown to proportions they probably never imagined. The reason Trump is polling so well is because he isn't a politician. And the reason why that is so important is because working class Republicans and the right wing of the party, have been told, repeatedly from all sources connected to that party, that what they truly need is someone who is not a politician and not connected to Washington. Trump merely tapped into their biggest fears and has told them what they truly want to hear. The fears that have been fed by that party for years now. Trump, is, to put it bluntly, their chicken that has returned home to roost. He is the ungodly child that the ultra-conservative pundits and Tea Party supporters have been demanding to support their values. And the Republican Party did nothing to stem that flow or tide of sentiment over the last few decades. How can any of them truly be surprised that it has now come to this? The only surprise any of us should be feeling right now, is surprise that the Republican Party went for decades and never actually saw this coming. The writing was on the wall in flaming paint, when McCain chose Palin to be his VP to garner the votes from the ultra right. They pandered. They courted them. They gave them a voice and supported that voice. And the Republican base, the working class they worked so hard to make sure they heard those right wing voices, believed them and bought into it. They are now reaping what they have sown.
  20. But the Republican voters would not want him. They have veered hard right and someone even mildly sane, would be considered to be a progressive. At times I wonder what Republican voters would say if they actually got what they asked for and had Trump or Cruz as President. I suspect the honeymoon period would be very short once the fruits of their labour came to fruition and all the benefits they currently enjoy disappeared.
  21. I am really sorry for your loss. A dog becomes a part of the family. We mourn them as we would if we lost anyone in the family. Winston knew he was loved right to the end. You did well letting him go so he did not suffer any longer and you were there for him as he has been for you. You have my deepest sympathy.
  22. Bells

    Paris attacks

    Oh? Their fundamentalist views of their religion, well, more to the point, it is against their religion to murder other Muslims. It's not about what they think is moral. They are genocidal freaks, who are intent on wiping out other Islamic sects and orders because they feel theirs is superior. I fully understand what motivates them. In minute detail. That does not mean I feel they should be pitied or excused. They were not dragged into this kicking and screaming, unlike the poor people who they are forcing to do as they bid. I am not denying the role the West has had, but I also do not think we should ignore or absolve the role certain actors in the Middle East has had in the fray. And I certainly do not think that accepting blame for our role in this whole mess should amount to excusing or ignoring the horrendous crimes they are committing against their own people. And frankly, we would be derelict as human beings if we turned our backs or excused it or tried to pity party our way out of it because we do not want to offend their delicate morals in their so called defense of their religious ideology which amounts to mass slaughter of innocent men, women and children because of their religious identity or their political affiliation or their culture. There is a difference between protecting one's religious beliefs and forcing it on others at gun point. You do understand this difference, yes? They are not protecting their religion or religious belief. They are forcing it on the populace and forcing their interpretation of their religious text, not to mention some dodgy laws and ideology that do not exist in their religious text, on others. Those they deem beneath them, like Shi'ites and Christians, for example, are simply killed. I think it is more the majority are not murderous genocidal psychopaths. No one is denying that, nor is anyone defending it or excusing it or calling it moral. I say that ISIS have killed more Muslims than they have Westerners and this is your response? I do not quite understand what you are trying to say with this point. That it is okay for them to do so as well? What is the point of that comment? Does not mean that their murderous ideology needs to be accepted or respected. And? Does not mean they deserve to be respected or pitied. I'm sorry, but I refuse to say nothing or excuse or blame the West, when someone deigns to throw people off buildings for being gay, because it might hurt their feelings or offend their religious beliefs, whether they think it is moral or not. Politics and power. Kim Davis was trying to prove a political point. Their beliefs in what is or is not moral had little to do with it. This was the right going after Obama again. She was political fodder. And excusing this behaviour because she thought it was moral, or saying nothing or trying to understand her bigotry to not make waves or insult her.. Her lack of morality deserves to be insulted. Her bigotry deserves to be insulted. Have you read some of the articles about the people who managed to escape ISIS? The ISIS brides, for example? They knew their actions were immoral. They knew it was wrong. And their husband's killing others indiscriminately was not about religion. It was about power and control: Though the women tried to rationalize their enlistment, there was no way to avoid seeing the Organization as the wanton killing machine it was. But all of Syria, it seemed, had become about death. At night, Aws and Dua heard attempts at self-justification from the husbands they had waited up for and would go to bed with. They had to be savage when taking a town to minimize casualties later, the men insisted. Mr. Assad’s forces were targeting civilians, sweeping into homes in the middle of the night and brutalizing men in front of their wives; the fighters had no choice but to respond with equal brutality, they said. [...] By the time the trees blossomed that spring, it was common to see the heads of captured soldiers and people accused of treason hanging in the main square near the clock tower. But most who had stayed in Raqqa were either too afraid to rebel or had no desire to. Horrified, the cousins kept trying to cope, soothing themselves with the thought that, though they had joined the Organization, at least they were not personally killing anyone. “We saw many heads being cut off,” Dua recalled. “You saw the heads — it was just the heads you saw,” Aws corrected her. “Well, it is forbidden in Islam to mutilate bodies.” “I saw bodies that lay in the street for a whole week.” [...] One week in July 2014, he did not return for three nights. On the fourth day, a group of fighters knocked on her door. They told her that Abu Soheil had blown himself up in a battle against the Syrian Army at Tal Abyad, on the border with Turkey. Dua was devastated, especially when the commander told her Abu Soheil had requested a suicide mission. He had never told her about such a plan, and she broke down, shaking and sobbing, at the men’s feet. She tried to console herself with the thought that it was honorable to be a martyr’s wife. But days later, she learned a fact that made things even harder to bear: Abu Soheil had killed himself in an operation not against the hated Syrian Army, but against a competing rebel group that the Islamic State was trying to wipe out. “I cried for days,” she said. “He died fighting other Muslims.” Just 10 days later, another man from her husband’s unit came to the house. He told Dua she could not stay home alone and would need to marry again, immediately. Again, the Organization was twisting Islamic law to its own desires. Under nearly universal interpretations of Islam, a woman must wait three months before remarrying, mainly to establish the paternity of any child that might have been conceived. The waiting period, called idaa, is not only required but is a woman’s right, to allow her to grieve. But even in the realm of divine law, the Islamic State was reformulating everything.
  23. Bells

    Paris attacks

    No it isn't. How can you define it moral to throw people off buildings because of their sexuality moral? How can you define murdering old Imams in town squares, in front of the whole town to set an example, because they refused to swear allegiance to their leaders, moral? There is nothing moral or religious about what they are doing. At all. So how can you say that these are religious laws and moral for them to follow? What religion dictates that these crimes must be committed and are moral? Islam certainly does not. Does that mean if someone goes out and bombs an abortion clinic, killing people inside, because they are pro-life and Christian, that this is a moral act? What way of life do you think needs to be protected? Their right to rape, murder and pillage Muslims and non-Muslims alike? Remember, they invaded, they enforced their interpretation of religious beliefs on others and forced people to fall in line or die. They became and are the outside influence. A large portion of their fighters are foreign born. So which secular influences are they fighting against when they mass murder Shi'ite Muslims, Christians and other religious and non-religious groups alike? Because I do not consider Shi'ite's to be secular. So, poor baby doesn't get to murder thousands of Shi'ite's.. boo hoo, they are the victim now? Please. I think it is a tad more nuanced than that. What? Fellow Muslims and Christians and other religious sects that have equally strong ties to the region after generations of their ancestors had existed there together? Remember, Isis have killed more Muslims, Sunni and Shi'ite's alike, than they have any other Western or non-Western nationality combined. They did not do this to protect their religion. The rise of ISIS was purely political. It was and is a power play. Control. By fear and terror over the populace. If people refuse to obey, they are killed. If people disagree, they are killed. They are not protecting their religion when they sought to destroy their ancestral history. They aren't wrong? I'm sorry? What we have done to them pales in absolute comparison to what they are doing to their own people. They are seeking to eradicate Shi'ite Muslims and all other religious sects and people in the region. And you think they aren't wrong? What they are doing is tantamount to genocide.
  24. As one of the so called lurkers, there are positives and negatives to allowing creationist discussions. On the one hand, you have the opportunity to educate those who are fence sitters or are unsure of what to believe in or who to trust, or who feel confused because they do not understand evolution in any sense or form. On the other hand, you will have the die hard creationists who seek to not only ignore science and evolution, but who deliberately set out to twist and turn it into something it is not and who wish to have some influence in political discourse, especially in the area of education. While it is noble to try to educate those who are unsure or confused and who are the lurkers, such individuals may feel swayed against evolution or science if those who respond to a creationist are losing their proverbial minds because they are frustrated and angry at the tactics creationists often employ. It's literally a case of you will win some and you will lose some. No, you will not be able to keep it contained to one thread. It will spread. What you can do, if you set up or allow creationist threads or discussions on this site is to have one that deals with each section of creationist ideology. From a thread on intelligent design, where discussions about intelligent design can be had. And one about the young Earth creationists, who believe that Adam and Eve lived with the dinosaurs. You can also consider an Evolution Denial thread, where much fun can be had with smacking one's head with a brick after a while:). That way it is not jumbled up or confusing, people who wish to educate can still do so and a better form of control can be had over creationists who wish to participate in these discussions. Harder standards of the rules could apply to these discussions, such as trying to control the "you're an idiot" type of responses these discussions often invite. You can also set it up so that participants understand that it is not for preaching, but for discussing intelligent design, creationism, etc and that the emphasis of the discussions will be scientific.. Either way, it isn't going to be easy and it is possible that you will attract some new members who will make you want to set your eyeballs on fire because of the abject denial of evolution and who will sit there and just quote the Bible.
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