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Everything posted by ParanoiA

  1. And I, or anyone else, could just have easily said you're a paste eating asshat as well for ruling out that which you cannot disprove nor confirm. I could have said that ruling out miracles is an escape route used by an ignorant person incapable of understanding that inductive reasoning, the philosophy driving the scientific method, holds that you have yet to prove a single theory and cannot even claim the future will behave as the past. You don't know that gravity even exists beyond where you've looked - you've inferred how less than 1% of the entire universe even works - yet you're still petulantly peddling your disbelief faith offensively. It makes no logical sense to rule out miracles any more than it does to rule them in. They are merely a possibility that cannot yet be disproven. Why does a man so adamantly rule out choices in this way and then ridicule others for not making the same, limiting leap of faith? Emotion. How does that same man rationalize disparaging others, like theists, for doing the exact same thing? Emotion. Drop the baggage. You can choose to rule out that which you don't believe in, like miracles, but to offend from some pretentious soap box of objectivity...you might as well be shitting on the scientific method, the very thing you hold up so proudly. It does seem reasonable that scientists should operate from a position of miracle rejection, in practice. That doesn't mean offending people in the process, of course, or even believing it to be so, but it does mean that science shouldn't stop trying to explain something until it gets explained by science. I'm assuming here that miracles cannot be proven, of course.
  2. But here you're still tying the victim to the original captor that creates the syndrome. I'm talking about post-initialization, using that syndrome to draw strength for an entirely different adversary. Do victims of Stockholm syndrome use their previous captivity and subsequent emotional attachment to their previous captor to draw strength to deal with an entirely new incident? This would require that they anchor their emotions with their previous captor, not switch to a new emotional attachment with a new captor - otherwise, that's not the same as what I'm now going to start calling the godholm syndrome. With godholm syndrome, if we accept the premise that they have suffered Stockholm Syndrome, the victim's emotions are anchored to god. Any and all intense adversity does not change the nature of their syndrome, they still draw on their original "captor", god. They then use that emotional attachment to face an entirely new adverse situation, never emotionally attaching themselves to that new "captor". That would appear to be unique, and not found in Stockholm Syndrome. Either way, I've got a new song title. Also, Muse wrote a song called Stockholm Syndrome as well, but it's not as lyrically cool as the one you referenced in the OP. For some reason, it still feels like he's talking about god also.
  3. I'll accept your premise. I'm offering you a chance to live your life the way you want, and not feel guilty for it. It offers a chance to do the above without fear of eternal damnation. Because accepting god makes it a pain in the ass to live my life. I have stuff I want to do and experience, like drug induced all nighters with blowup dolls and god is in the way, all preachy about it. Let him live his own life, and I'll live mine. Else, don't give me the "gift" of life when I'm expected to spend it as a slave. I'll take non-existence for...ever, Alex. Because from who I've seen qualify for such a thing, the "glorious" afterlife will be the most boring, uneventful, puritanically miserable existence. No sex, no drugs, no dirty words, no smoking....what the hell do we do? Sing hymns? A freaking eternity of even more worship? Sounds tempting, but I'm not interested. Send me to hell where the fun is...
  4. Sure. I was reading about the 33 trapped Chilean miners, in a 600 square foot space, 95 degrees, 95% humidity with no hope of extraction until around Christmas. Their mental health and sanity is the biggest concern at this point, since they can send food, water and other resources to keep them alive indefinitely. But how long can 33 men suffer that crowded pit of hell down there? They've been able to communicate a little: Do victims of Stockholm Syndrome draw on their syndrome for strength when facing impossible adversity? I really don't know. (Personally, I could probably use some godholm syndrome if I was in that situation)
  5. Well...not quite... Woah, they seriously don't put people away for molestation in Sweden? I don't know, sounds to me like it's going to be unfounded also.
  6. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange accused of rape. Woah, WTF? Well this should be interesting...
  7. Certainly the logic you invoke here is reasonable. I could appreciate it more if I didn't live in a democratic republic that is designed to reconcile variable voices and opinions. My job in this republic is not to do the compromising, that's for those charged with that job: politicians. I believe my job is to voice my pure opinion, to be taken along with everyone else's pure opinion, so that our representative agent can accurately render that din of voices into a single net position. If I'm already compromising at the outset, and so is everyone else, then our agent is not getting accurate information from his constituents and can hardly deliver legislation truly symmetrical to our desires, not to mention the scope of change severely affected. Further, taking the moral stand, if that's really what we can call it, in honor of our legal structure takes priority over all other moral stands. Without a functioning, just government, all morals and ethics are at risk. Similar to how we see the freedom of speech as the most important right we have; that without the first amendment, all dynamics of government are at risk. So too do I see the insistence on honoring our design structure, that without sound legal structure, all dynamics of law are at risk. If we accept distortions in the framing, and then further those distortions with moral appeals, then our house weakens. And if perpetuated enough, it will collapse and thus no longer contain any moral values at all. If we keep accepting invalid authority claims by our government, on an individual level, how far will that translate through the framing of our nation house? All that said, I still get where you're coming from. I just apply it more as postmortem. Like you said, I can't expect everyone to share my values, and I do respect their beliefs and that's not just words. I don't hate people or reject all of society because I think 99% of their values suck. I'm extremely resentful that they don't respect mine and that the same people who's rights I defend regularly turn right around and talk about trimming my liberties like they're drinking beer on the back porch discussing the merits of slavery...but I don't think I have a right to trump them as if my view is the objective truth.
  8. Now there's a question I haven't considered at all. I could see that premise being just as saucy as this question of restricted immigration. Glad you brought it up. And I'm not sure what I think about it yet...cool. Ah, I see a problem here. We can still maintain low taxes on the poor because the rich are a minority and we'll just continue to vote the tax burden onto them.
  9. But see this resembles the ends-justify-the-means logic, the distinction being the appeal to "how things are". I can't climb on board with that. My mission is not to secure rights by the further erosion and distortion of our current legal mess. My mission is to respect the principles of liberty and how that applies to our government design. If it's wrong for the government to christen intimate arrangements and then use them to secure rights in subtending law that creates an inequality, then that's the problem. I'm not going to play along with the notion that the government has the authority to do this, and then help distort the pages of law even further. I understand that you and others might. And maybe I would too if it affected me more directly. But this win-at-any-cost approach, including the immeasurable expense inherent in further twisting of our legal structure, is akin to killing a fly in your house with a shotgun. You're destroying your house in the process. Cutting off your nose to spite your face...that sort of thing. I'm done playing "politics". I'm going to reward statesmen that talk direct and honest, and approach problems directly and honestly. Politics, in the end, is our fault. We are the ones that create the forces that shape the politicians we get. I can't really sit here and bitch about it, and then turn right around and confirm it by playing along. Eventually, we're going to have to quit letting politics spoil our union, and start being genuine and thoughtful about governing. And that, to me anyway, means attacking problems at their heart, sincerely, even if it's harder and more elusive than an easier fix that flies in the face of our principles. Yes. Actually, I meant to give you credit for that earlier. After sorting through the 14th, and reading more about the clauses, it did become more apparent to me that privilege does *not* imply "any discrimination goes", simply because it's a privilege. The part I was not processing was the notion that privilege cannot include discrimination based on race, sex and etc - unless, it passes the Supreme Court's due process scrutiny "test". I was trying to apply that test to questions of rights only, not including privileges. This is what Walker was doing. He used the easiest test for Prop 8 to pass, "rational basis", and it couldn't pass it. So it sure as hell wouldn't have passed "intermediate scrutiny" or "strict scrutiny", the two higher levels. I will tell you, traditionally, I do not agree with how the supreme court has concluded those tests in the past, such as affirmative action. But I think I agree with the concept though. And I sure as hell agree with how Walker applied it.
  10. Precisely why the problem is those benefits and legal status that use marriage to qualify for them. If a driver's license qualifies me to make medical decisions for my unconscious wife, while the lack of one disqualifies someone else, then I have to take issue with that qualification process, not the driver's license bureau.
  11. I thought this was an interesting contrast. France is deporting illegals - poor, destitute illegals, after just 3 months to find work, studies or some obscure notion of "becoming established", whatever that means. http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/08/19/france.roma/?hpt=Sbin Exactly. It's not that we should look to other countries for guidance on what our policies should be here, in America. (After all, I prefer capitalism over anything else, yet international guidance would have us fairly socialized.) It's that we shouldn't be judged for those policies outside of a global context. Personally, I'm proud of our openness to immigration. I'm even a bit proud we have a petulant impulse against immigration restriction. But we mustn't be stupid and naive just to prove how racist and xenophobic we're not. The complete open borders argument lacks sense and feels like overcompensation to atone for ancestral shame. I'm not into living down my father's sins. They get buried with him. I'll answer for my own.
  12. Yeah, pretty much nobody is arguing about rights. For once, we're all essentially in agreement on that part. This entire issue is a social one. I'll bet George Carlin would have had some interesting comments about it... It may seem that way to you. But this is actually a small number to me. The funny part, if there is one, is that the same 34% are probably the ones that think they have a "right" to deny marriage for same-sex couples. There is an appallingly large number of folks with a twisted notion of rights. Hell, some even think we have a "right" to drive...
  13. Ah, my absolute favorite breed of dog, without question. I've had several labs over the years. None of them bit a single person, ever. They are the hardest to let go of when their time comes because they are so damn loyal, and we rarely earn it or deserve their admiration. However, there was one time when Skipper, my present old man lab, cornered a Spaniel in our kitchen and lashed out at him several times. I had to get in the middle of that, and of course, Skipper completely submitted to me and it was ok. I have no idea what happened, but I can only guess the Spaniel was up to something (that I apparently, was not "handling") so Skipper stepped up. I completely agree with the others on this, there is nothing inherently aggressive about labs toward humans, at all. I can easily see their endearing qualities causing a rare problem and accidentally hurting their owner, though. Not sure I'd really call that a risk, but it's definitely worth it. Dogs are a net benefit to us, hands down. Hopefully we are that for them too. But little furry critters that run around like dog toys will become dog toys. Sorry, but just like human children, they are hard on their toys.
  14. I've never really understood the self-subordination psychology of people to celebrities - particularly when they subordinate themselves to idiots. To "follow" someone around like a pathetic puppy, eating up their bits of mundane droppings is just too sycophantic for my ego. Not to mention it can't be healthy for these celebrities either. They may actually believe they're special because they have a tan and their name sounds like a failed twinkie experiment. John Lennon will always be my hero songwriter/musician. Yet, I'd sooner wipe my ass with 60 grit sandpaper than fawn over him... (well, if he was still alive anyway). I was heartened to hear about some fella in the UK that thought celebrity and fame was "vacuous" when Kanye West "followed" him. Oh, I puked initially over the notion *that* was news: HERE! HERE! Kanye follows someone on Twitter! But then to hear this kid disparage the whole fame thing as inane, stupid and lacking in intelligence, was just priceless. There's hope, but it's not coming from America. Do your best to insulate yourselves from our "vacuous" pop culture.
  15. Well said man. I think that sentiment will pluralize to a majority sooner than we realize. I think when it comes down to it, however inconvenient, there is a lot of emotion in this and emotion isn't rational. Sure it's being exploited by the right wing ditto media but that's not a good enough reason to dismiss irrational, sensitive and highly emotional Americans about this historical tragedy. Some of us just don't seem to "feel" 9/11. I'm one of those. I appreciate what happened, but I don't feel the sense of loss and national connectedness that others do about it. And I wonder how many other people, who support building this Mosque, also don't have that emotional baggage about 9/11. Maybe that clouds our appreciation for the irrationality of loss.
  16. Oh, I absolutely agree. But I'm talking about the perceptions of those conservatives and Christians that perceive this as a victory flag for Islamic extremism. Why do we care so much for how Muslims receive our bombs in their countries when we're clearly aiming for terrorists? Because perception is reality for people, and we know this. So many of us argue that those bombs may be justified for some small number of terrorists, but that they aren't worth dropping because the perception by their residents is that we're imperialists that need to be countered - just as we would do if they invaded america to kill Christian terrorists. So, why not look to these conservatives and Christians and offer the same level of understanding? Don't their perceptions matter too? I guess what I'm saying is, we all know this is about contrasting Islam from Islamic terrorism. We've decided that political point is more important than extending respect to the perceptions of a majority of our population. Your anger, suggests a disparity in treatment between Muslims and Christians. Of course, I'm talking more about sentiment here. Like I told my conservative buddies, the law is the law and it is, and should be, blind to our emotional baggage. Again, of course I agree with you. I know we're the "bigger person" for it and we're refusing to be driven by fear. And guess what? I also know we're in the right to invade Afghanistan. Big deal. The perception is we are imperialist bastards for invading that country. And the perception enjoyed by extremist Islamic terrorists is that Allah is making an ass out of America as they build a Mosque for him to celebrate the victory of slaying their own people. Do you remember how much mileage they got out of the Americans "running" away in Somolia? http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/binladen/who/miller.html Now how do you think they'll use this Mosque? Recruitment propaganda is a bitch. It is very worth noting. I need to remember to toss this out at my conservative buddies. Like I've said before, you're either free or you're not. It's not right to deny this Mosque. I've tried to make the point with conservatives that freedom isn't free, it costs. And when we say that, we're not just talking about war, we're talking about everyday tolerance to things that offend us. Whether that's due to our own perceptions, or not.
  17. Ok, do you all remember when we were making the point that perceptions matter, when analyzing the interaction between the US and the Middle East? Remember how some of us, including myself, made the point that we appear as imperialists to this region, and that perception carries consequences? That we cultivate terrorists when we fail to acknowledge that perception and continue to use the proverbial stick to smack them into meeting our expectations? Well? How about extending that same courtesy to your countrymen? How about their perceptions? Why do they not get the same level of respect? And further, like it or not, while we WANT to be perceived as thoughtful and rational, we will also be perceived as weak. A Mosque erected in place of the Twin Towers, the greatest, most triumphant attack on the Americans - all with their help. And all before their own monument could even be built. A submission to Allah by the Americans - or maybe it's the power of Allah over the Americans. Who knows how they'll spin it. Most of that is just contrarian points that I think should be considered. I don't have much of a dog in this fight. Personally, I don't care if they erect a Mosque or a cheeseburger stand. I do want a monument though. And I do think the 9/11 event is the kind of event we should always respect and be reminded of. Just like any other defining event or catastrophe in our history.
  18. I don't think the constitution should be changed on this. And also think it's a distraction and only treats symptoms while ignoring the disease of border insecurity. I'm still as dumbfounded as ever listening to folks wax on about terrorism and the imperative to respond militarily, for a decade now, occupying other countries with thousands upon thousands of troops while we make pitiful symbolic gestures to our own borders. Only when we actually stop illegal immigration, will we be forced to deal with legal immigration requirements. Right now, we're in this weird holding pattern where we feel hostile about closing the door on illegal immigration, presumably because we think it's heartless and selfish. At the same time, since the door isn't closed, no one has been compelled enough to change the laws to reconcile with our modern perspective and preferences on immigration requirements. So, our result is a solution that requires them to be criminals with disparate rights and no responsibility or dues to the republic, while we all run around enjoying the benefits of labor laws yet bitching about paying more than our fair share of taxes. An amendment to end Anchor Babies is not going to do anything to fix that problem. As usual, it just looks to me like we're too chicken to face the problems. And I think it's all politics. It wouldn't be popular to call ourselves out for perpetuating an oppressive second class citizen design that uses appeals to cheap labor to justify it. It also isn't popular to sell "fortress america", but it may just be appropriate.
  19. Well hell, at least we understand each other. Now that you mention it, yes. That does seem a bit careless. I wonder if that changes now.
  20. David Stockman wrote a scathing indictment of the republican party - and not just the new guys, this is going back 40 years. It also repudiates Krugman's dismissal of deficit and insistence that we continue to play with fire and take more spending chances in the face of the largest deficit ever. Stockman apparently isn't impressed with appeals to economic plaques and prizes as he squarely blames Friedman in part one. Here's a guy that calls for austerity yet doesn't fit the Krugman accusation of "do it cuz pain is good for our fiscal religion". He calls for it because it's the heart of the problem - a nation spending more than it earns; living beyond our means. Instead of the four horsemen, we have the four deformations. Cute. Not bad either, and the first one kind of surprised me. The rest, not so much. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/opinion/01stockman.html That sounds awfully similar to the austrians claim about fiat currency. I see some of bascule's arguments buried in these statements. I also see some more austrian brow beating, as well as my own, pointing out unnatural conditions that undermine free market design and accountability. And I love the "wards of the state" comparison. In my opinion, this is a great summary of the republican party of late. Somewhere in the article he refers to fiscal principle being replaced by slogans and hype. Damn, that fits. Thoughts?
  21. I think he's referring to his point about the government not reporting these incidents. If I understand his argument correctly, he's ok with Wikileaks doing what it is doing if the government is "not doing it" - the assumption being it's the government's responsibility to its people. If the government is reporting this kind of inconvenient information, then Wikileak's necessity becomes more questionable.
  22. Well here's an example where tone-font would be useful; I can't tell if your parenthetical statement is a dig or a nod. But anyways, yeah of course you're right. The only consequence being that if they don't know the names are fake, then perhaps, it may be a stretch, but maybe that gets them looking for people that don't exist, rather than knowing the names are fake and then invoking some kind of terror torture campaign to discover the real ones. Yeah I seriously need to watch a little less TV.... Ah, fair enough. I don't know how much I agree with your reasoning here either, but clearly you weren't presenting the false dichotomy. To be honest, I share the somewhat natural impulse to support and encourage exposing government secrets and such, particularly in a free society that participates in its governing. But I equally challenge the auto-magic notion that it surely must always = good. Just like hypocrisy, there's a difference between function and form. I think we just jump on the bandwagon to expose everything with a false righteous assumption. "Secrets" are not iniquitous. At the same time, trusting the government to do it, even when they "appear" to be, is even more naive. I don't care how open the government appears to be, they are not to be trusted. It can not be afforded. I find it easy to navigate between those two points. "Old media" knows how to do this. The gravity of these documents requires particular care. I don't believe the results of how this was leaked lend evidence that he fully appreciates that care. It also doesn't suggest he was as careless as I made him out to be. But nevertheless... I guess I see it similar to trusting me with my own nuclear reactor in my backyard. No matter how much education, or how much I have in the way of resources, no one is really going to be comfortable with me running my own nuclear show no matter how insistent I am that I can do it without hurting anyone.
  23. ParanoiA

    Death Penalty

    It would only be hypocritical without analysis to determine if both locations are truly equal, applicably. If we analyze each area, and discover a fatal ice cream parasite in location A that only exists in location A, and cannot be eliminated or mitigated satisfactorily, then it's not hypocritical to deny ice cream for folks in location A. Denying it for folks in location B, in turn then, is just being cruel for no better reason than some elementary desire for everyone to suffer the same. You're separating the punishment from the justice system; the act from the context. Similarly, I would guess you would not say that all murder is unethical, and therefore sacrifice your life while an intruder beats you to death. I must assume that you would hypocrtically defend yourself, and perhaps hypocritically kill the intruder in the process. You're only a hypocrite if you don't analyze - or more accurately, put into context - why you killed the intruder. By analyzing the events, we can see that the intruder intiated violent confrontation, that you presumably wished NOT to have - therefore your choices were to sacrifice yourself, or the intruder. To apply this to capital punishment. If all governments were equal, all factors equal - just as in your example of ice cream hypocrisy - then you could say it's hypocritical to oppose it for one, and support it for another. But not all governments are equal - just as all locations are not equal, as I added to your example of ice cream hypocrisy. So no, you cannot claim hypocrisy there. In other words the applicable context has to be the same in order to claim hypocrisy. That applicable context is what determines a given person's actions as ethical or not.
  24. Hmm, well I'm still having that issue Severian complained about. But it appears to be because the names are actually the same color as the background in that spot - white. If you highlight where the name is supposed to be, it appears. Kind of like reverse spoiler tags. But, just to thicken the plot, it only does this here at work. At home last night, I saw everyone's screen names - and I believe they were in the "blue" strip partition at the top of a given post. While here at work, the names are just below that blue strip, in white, on the white background. It also appears everything is centered, as if I'm using a widescreen monitor - space out to each side, with the post content almost like a wide column down the middle. FYI. It's not that much of a bother.
  25. Well the comparison to GWB is valid, philosophically. Both administrations are expansive and for the same reasons - security at the expense of liberty. One was focused on terrorism, the other on economy. They each took a valid conflict or fear and exploited it for increases in power. They may actually believe it, however. But I'm sure the "professional left" has their own reasons for the comparison, no doubt far more rhetorical than substative. Maybe they're thinking since the democrats own both houses, with that precious 60 seat majority in the senate, that all of Obama's and the liberal's wet dreams should have become a reality. Certainly not compromise after compromise. I think we all know better than that, and I'm not sure why they don't. Compromise is for politicians. That's what they do. We don't. We are charged with airing our demands, they are charged with negotiating the demands of over 300 million voices. While we don't compromise what we demand, and we don't stop demanding simply because efforts have been made, we also should recognize that their job is to listen to ALL of their constituents, not just you or me. They are to represent portions of the public - portions that measure in the millions - not just the loudest crybabies on the block. I would probably argue that the executive should be more insulated from popular demands, and that we've perverted the office with expectations of popular representation as if the president is really just the de facto 3rd Tier of our representative legislature. In terms of liberal policies, Obama has been terrific. He's done a fabulous job of persecuting the republican agenda and growing support in his own. Our republic is not designed to be efficient and sweeping. It's designed to be inclusive and incremental. Obama seems to understand this, and takes his victories as he should. He's doing great work for those people. And I don't know if I'm just suddenly paying more attention or what, but it sure seems like Gibbs and Obama both, are not afraid to disparage the irrationality of segments of society and the media. It's one thing I really like about this administration. I've seen Obama make fun of the sensationalist, flip-flop, kooky nature of media and spin and mocking the silliness of it all and while I know he participates in it, as any politician does, it sure is refreshing to see it. Give 'em hell man!
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