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Everything posted by jryan

  1. It's interesting also to note that when discussing the formal seal of the United States of America that both Jefferson and Franklin (the two most commonly attributed to being Deists) both proposed images of the biblical Jewish Exodus.
  2. Would anyone have a problem blocking new threads started from articles from the New York Times, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, AP, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tirbune, Miami Herald, The Denver Post, The Boston Globe, CNN, NPR, Air America, FiveThirtyEight.Com, HuffingtonPost.com, Slate.Com, and a myriad of other openly liberal blog sites? Since we're interested in ridding ourselves of bias thread topics... Edit: While we are at it, how about we also cut out threads that start with a news article from any journalist shown to have a bias in either direction... we can scan opensecrets.org for their donation history, do a statistical analysis of their article history and it's content, give them a score with 10 being most liberal and -10 being most conservative and rule out anyone that doesn't score a zero. As such, I think this thread should be closed as it fails the bias test.[/sarcasm] My answer is no to the original question. If the source is biased and is bending over backwards to prove a preconceived belief then it should be fairly easy to spot and correct. I would propose a counter measure that would disallow anyone from rejecting an article in a response based solely on source. If you can't show why the article is wrong empirically then you have no businessing rejecting the article's content.
  3. Well, if we can divert this topic away from the thought of murdering people to solve an economic crisis, there was a good article the other day that does a pretty good job I think of spelling the role of Government in a capitalist society. Don't let the source fool you, I think there is enough truth in it for us to agree on before we start tearing at each other on the differences. Capitalism -vs- Capitalists Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Supposedly Social Workers do... but I can tell you that that isn't true. Any Social Worker can tell you that you can tell who the successes will be on their first day in the office. But actually there is a point where people become so broken that they become open to the reality of their own personal responsibility. Unfortunately Social Workers aren't equipped to hasten that realization. Toward the end of my tenure I liked to say that most of my clients didn't need a social worker, they needed a drill sergeant.
  4. None of these are any more exclusionary to Christianity than they are exclusionary to one another, TW. A sect IS a subdivision of a religion, TW. When he said that he was placing himself at odds with other Christian sects (aka. "denominations"). Had he meant he was not among the ranks of Christians he would have said so... but all he did was claim a schism with other denominations. As I stated before, that is the old testament. In the old testament there were laws against enslaving fellow Israelites, as they were all considered God's chosen people, or children of God. Then along came Jesus and the new Testament wherein Jesus makes it abundantly clear than ALL PEOPLE are children of God and God's chosen people and there, with the force of his wisodm, slavery ceased to be acceptable to Jesus' adherents (or should have been.. though we don't always listen) Timothy is talking to the slave, not the slave holder. How can that be considered as condoning slavery? As I stated before, upon Jesus' revelation that all people are God's chosen people slavery ceased to be supported by Christianity. In Timothy he is simply saying that you must remain true to Jesus teachings even as a slave. But in thta there is also some wisdom, as acting kind and dutiful even to your master would show the strength of Jesus' teachings, and in so doing may sway your master to the Christian path. In doing so, you may yet be freed from bondage... indeed, Christianity over the succeeding one and a half millennium was the driving force for the abolition of slavery. Even those Christians that had slaves must be treated respectfully. Note, however, that the master being Christian is "no excuse" for being disrespectful, meaning that even though the Christian master is in the wrong, you still must behave as a Christian yourself. It has been rather effective, however. It has eradicated the practice of slavery in predominantly Christian nations. In the end, you will find that any people who believed themselves Christian who sought justification for slavery did so through the old testament or through faulty science (arguing that blacks were not humans, for example) I would say that if you behave as a Buddhist most Buddhists would say yes. Well, if they follow the moral code of the given religion or sect then they are following that religion, as all religions, on this side of death, are simply moral guides. True, according to many Christian sects that's true.. or at the very least entitled to all the same benefits as fellow Christians. You don't have to WANT to be a member of a group to be a member of a group anyway. Oh good.. since I am always correct I was starting to feel I was letting someone down. Again, no it doesn't. You are taking a few passages out of the entire many thousands of passages in the Bible and trying to make them stand on their own. It doesn't work that way. There is a New Testament that is there to help you understand the Old Testament, and an Old Testament to help you understand how we arrived at the New Testament. I would suggest that if you insist on trying to use the Bible against Christianity that you at least accept that simple truth. It doesn't even require an article of faith! It's just plain old true.
  5. They probably would. But the kinds of taxable items in the Fair Tax would probably lead people to shy away from the black market to an extent as well. I'm sure you can get a nice car on the black market, for example, but good luck getting a warranty from Johnny Two-Time. Also, you certainly wouldn't want to finance it through him! On the other end, if cookies are not on the essentials list I still wouldn't buy my Oreos in a back alley somewhere just to save $1.00.
  6. I really, really, really don't understand that mindset Padaren. But then I really don't understand the the mindset of the original poster either. I was born into a low/middle class family as one of seven sons. As we were a large family, my parents could not afford to pay everyone's way through college, so they paid no ones way through college. At the same time the instilled in their children the importance of a higher education, and pressed us hard academically throughout school. So instilled was I in the importance of an education that when I graduated high school I enrolled in a local college and literally shoveled shit every summer to pay for the following year of school. By the third year I had progressed enough to start landing some internships in the summer so I didn't have to shovel shit anymore, and the 9-5 desk jobs allowed me enough energy at night to take up a second job as needed if I wanted spending money. Once I graduated college I took a job as a social worker which, looking back, was a poor choice on my part. I should have realized that when all of my coworkers were married to a spouse with the real job. Anyway, I stuck it out in social work for 7 years, but about half way through I decided that it was time to work on an exit strategy so I went back to school and got myself a degree in IT. Once I had those bonifides I cashed out my retirement from my social work job and hit the trail to dig up a job in IT. I started as a help desk technician making about what I was making as a Social Worker (a little less), and busted my ass at that job until the company moved and left me jobless.... so I hit the job market again and in a month had a job that paid a little more, with more responsibility, and a chance to double my pay within a year... which I did. Soon after the company folded, and I went back to the job market with more skills and fund a job making slightly more than I made before losing my previous job. I then busted my ass to learn all I could at that employer... at which point I had a serious skillset that I parlayed into my current job (which I left and came back to once, doubling my salary again). At this point I make roughly five times what I made as a Social Worker and I did so through my own hard work, and never once did I ever resent a single person who hired me... from the property yard that paid me to clean sewage pumping stations to my current employer who benefits greatly from my work for them. The next step is to hang out my own shingle and work for myself, and God willing start paying other people to work for me. When I do so I will not take kindly to any employee that bitches about their poor mans burden because I will know immediately that they have no real will to succeed. Who would want such troublemakers working for them? Hell, I'd rather employ someone intent of taking over my company than someone who accepts a paycheck with resentment. The former at least is working toward a goal in life. So yeah, I don't resent Bill Gates or Warren Buffet's success... nor would I resent their children if they received all their money in inheritance... though I hear they both plan to give it all away anyway. But it is their money, they earned it. I don't wish them ill, nor do I bitch and moan about their fortunes and wish that the Federal Government would take a little more of it from them so that I might get a bigger hand out. When I was dirt poor and living off of rice and ramen noodles I never once considered how much better my life would be with other peoples money... I spent my time dreaming of how much better my life can be with my own hard work. I know this is all sort of off topic but to heck with this topic.. it's obscene.
  7. Actually, no they're not. First off, the Luke quote is talking about "servants" not slaves, and Timothy doesn't condone slavery but simply tells those stuck in slavery that it is no excuse for not following the teachings of Jesus. This is also in the category of "do unto others". As far as the old Testament quotes... well, there was a reason for a New Testament. It would be like trying to fault science because scientific beliefs 3000 years ago were screwy. And your world view and affiliations are of no concern to them. I am simply pointing out that others would consider you a Christian regardless of your personal characterizations. You could certainly argue that, but that isn't invalidating the arguments of either of those groups. Well, as I said before, they wouldn't consider you to be a member of their sect either. You would be, as Jefferson put it, a "sect of one". Well, we get back into the discussion of religious sects here, since "Christianity" covers a rather wide swatch of disparate sects. Calling "Christianity" a religion is not very informative. But if Jefferson considered himself a sect of one, and an adherent to the teachings of Jesus that should be enough. In other words, it is not reasonable for you to consider Jefferson a non-Christian when he doesn't appear to consider himself that.. rather just separate from other Christian sects. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts mergedBack to the last post that I had to break from: No, it's not truly that simple, iNow. Though now I realize I already gave you two reasons why your simplification of Christianity (in all it's many forms) isn't the case. But I would suggest that you look at Christianity backwards rather than forwards. All Christians believe in salvation (in one form or another), and it is that salvation that is the core of Christianity. In that way, you are considered to be a Christian because, whether you believe in Christianity's miracles, you still strive to reach the same point that Christians do... an end of life with the knowledge of a life well lived and well loved. Whether something is on the other side when the lights go out is something Christians would be happy to discuss with you on the other side... or it is irrelevant. But in both cases you lived lives that brought you to the same place and had you live the same way... save possibly for an hour or so on Sunday.
  8. My understanding of the Fair Tax is that it would be around 22% on all goods and services, but the Federal Government would refund each person a quarterly basic consumption (expected tax on food and essentials), that would mostly eliminate taxes for those living just on essentials. As such the poor would still pay no taxes... but enforcing it on the ultra rich would be very hard. How would you tax their spending while they are on a private beach in Italy? The nice thing about the fair tax, however, is that it is the best way to tax illegals and drug dealers and pimps. In theory they would all still have to by goods and services legally with the money they receive, so they would be taxed under this system when they do so. Unfortunately, the notion that it will eliminate the IRS (a selling point by many Fair Tax proponents) is a bit odd. It would change it's name, but someone would need to monitor, audit and collect taxes on all of those sales.
  9. Matthew 7:9-12 covers it pretty well, I think: "9 Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." He considered himself a "pure christian" as he only concerned himself with the moral code of Jesus. Note also that when Jefferson considers himself a sect unto himself. Sect here being a subdivision of Christianity. Jefferson was very deliberate and honest with his words -- he spared no one when he chose to speak against some aspects of the Christian religion-- and his word usage should not be easily overlooked. Had he said he was a religion unto himself I would agree with you.. but he didn't say that. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Well, actually in some Christian doctrine it does make you Christian. Many Christian sects, such as the Bible Churches, believe that all you need to be "saved" and be a Christian is to believe in Jesus' teachings. As such, if you weed out everything in the bible other than what Jesus was actually reported to have said and taught, and you believe that that is a good and right way to live your life, then you would be considered a Christian... to Bible Churches, anyway. Catholicism is actually even more lenient, believe it or not. Pope John Paul II towards the end of his reign issued rather clear argument that runs as follows (I'll paraphrase the Bible Verse): 1) Jesus was God's word made flesh 2) God wrote his word onto the heart of all people 3) Ergo, doing what you know is right is equal to believing in Jesus This was a long standing article of the Catholic faith that he clarified (much to the consternation of some in the Church). As such, it is not necessary to be Catholic to be saved, and it is not enough to be Catholic to be saved. In Catholicism salvation is predicated on deeds, not simple belief. There is a whole theological discussion of salvation in here that I find fascinating as I don't thing the Bible Church and Catholicism are as far off of one another as their doctrine makes it appear. But that is a discussion for the religion thread. Anyway, there are at least two sects of Christianity there that would consider you a Christian simply for believing in the code that Jesus taught. Well, I wouldn't know off the top of my head how exclusionary Islam is in that regard, but I would guess you are correct. It should also be pointed out that in the previously mentioned Catholicism you wouldn't be considered a Catholic either, you just wouldn't be ruled out of salvation for not being Catholic. I don't think it is when you actually consider the actual teachings of the various Christian sects. I'll avoid Jefferson's quotes in that regard though, as I already spoke against that method of proof. More later
  10. Well, since the OP is honestly wanting to discuss killing people as an economic strategy I have to question how well they understand economics or history. I mentioned in an earlier thread that discussing the evils of rich people and the benefits of death taxes can only lead to one rather unseemly discussion... and this is it.
  11. It's interesting to consider that if the US federal Government were reduced to a minor interstate regulatory function and provider of national defense that the states would then be left to pick up the Federal slack on a state by state basis. It's not like social services would stop being provided... we would just pay the bulk of our taxes to the states rather than the Federal Government and the states would provide the services their residents wanted. This would mean far more power being given to the states... which is how it was at the founding. It reminds me of the joke that was being told upon the forming of the United States, when Virginia was the real power among the original colonies: "Poor George didn't receive the Virginia Governorship and had to settle for President instead." Ironically, from someone who despises the European social welfare systems, the EU itself is a good example of what the Federal Government used to be. The EU government has a very small regulatory role and "states" are left to managing their own social programs and defense. My standard joke with liberal friends, when they wax poetic about the European Social Safety nets, is to ask if we can have the decentralized government they have as well.
  12. Well, Jefferson is definitely an interesting figure to be sure. He is a "Christian" insofar as he believed the moral code spelled out by Jesus in the New Testament was the purest path to human happiness as can exist, but he also did not believe in the Resurrection, walking on water, and other miracles in the same text. So on one hand he was a Christian in that he truly did believe that the teachings of Jesus were the salvation of mankind.... and on the other he wasn't a Christian as he didn't believe in the original sin from which Christ (read: savior) purportedly saved humanity. As such, and as a Christian myself, I must laugh at the fact that Jefferson was a better Christian in many respects than many professed Christians! Of course, he was also a slave holder, so he wasn't that great of a Christian either.
  13. All of these national ills were combated by groundswell, predominantly Christian movements. Gerrit Smith was the primary mover on the Abolition AND suffrage movements in the United States. He drove the suffrage debate in the Northern states by buying large tracts of land to give to women and blacks to give them land-owner status in order to vote. He also created the Liberty Party. It was formed in 1840 with two primary planks: Universal Suffrage and Abolition. Pretty much any major landmark in the Abolition and Suffrage movements in the 1800s is connected to the work of Gerrit Smith, who was driven by his religious beliefs (he was also the founder of a Christian unification church to eliminate the sectarianism of Christianity). Likewise, it is isn't hard to find the religious tone present in the Civil Rights movement of the 60s.
  14. No, they were being persecuted by the British Crown for not being members of the Church of England. Atheist persecution of religions was a 20th century phenomenon.
  15. It's dangerous to run solely on quotes, as these argumets often do (and I am guilty as well), but in this quote Jefferson was not speaking of U.S. constitutional law, but rather British Common law. Full Text discussion on the origin of British Common Law It's a very interesting letter, by the way, and well worth reading. Edit: What Jefferson is arguing in this 1816 letter is that the British Government has erroneously adopted the Ten Commandments into the common law, and that their doing so was based on a false pretenses. This should come as no surprise to anyone, as there is no doubt that this country's founding documents, in part, forbid the establishment of a state religion. It was done precisely for the abuses of power that were seen in the British government of the time. As such, Jefferson's letter is meant simply to argue that the British claim of precedent for adoption of Christian law into the British common law was faulty. That is a very different argument he is making than the one being made in this thread. The quote is very misused all over the internet, though.
  16. I'm not thrashing any more than you are, DH. You are simply arguing that we have no way of knowing which way it would go so therefor your choice is teh right one. But further note that this version of the game doesn't ask you to maximize the payout to the proposer. Instead it states explicitly that the execs would prefer few execs... so the predisposition of other voters is to vote no. We can also assume that the proposer wants to keep their job, so I still don't see where your pirate solution is valid.
  17. I'm attributing a value to the job, which makes far more sense then assuming it's valueless. It also doesn't play out the same as pirate because the rewards and punishments are different. There is a lot assumed in the pirate puzzle that, if assumed in the sales exec puzzle, would make a rather peculiar situation. In other words, the fact that they are pirates is important to how the pirate puzzle plays out. In the case of the sales exec, however, the $1 doesn't work because the intrinsic valuation is different. Lacking any further information it is safe to assume that the pirates could and would concede to the toughest pirate and accept 1 gold. In the case of a sales exec it is safer to assume a solution based on compromise. As such, my solution balances fairness, need and security since all would play a part in that determination. Absent other information you can also only divide the known bonus and balance that against the job.
  18. We all are until the obvious solution arises. As you mentioned, the fairness aspect plays into this decision, which is why #5 is a problem. 7 can't happen, and 6 is easy, but #5 places "Job" directly at odds with "Bonus", and without job specifics (salary, turnover, etc.) we are left guessing. If #5 made $350,000 a year salary, and #7 made $150,000 then the fair split would be $400,000 to #5 and $600,000 to #7.... but we don't know that so we can't answer that. If we assume that #5s compentation is $1 million or greater then we can assume that the fair split is to give all the money to #7 and #7 really has all of the leverage in that case. I think that even absent the information there is enough here to answer the question, however, and there is a way to deduce a fair distribution in round 1 that would garner support from the 3 necessary voters due to the variability of possibilities after the initial offer is rejected. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. In this case, assuming $1 million+ salaries, neither 6 or 3 are guaranteed any money in any permutation and would accept the offer made by #1 because it is the only given that have while #2 would accept it because they are guaranteed money and job which the wouldn't be in round #2.
  19. If you are running of a PC who's processor supports multiprocessing for VMs then Windows 7 supports a nifty new Virtual Machine application that comes with a fully licensed copy of XP for free. When you install that version of VM and install an application to the virtual XP it gets an icon added to your windows 7 tool bar as if the XP app was installed on Windows 7. You can run that application in a fashion that appears to be a native program in Windows 7 but is instead running natively in XP. It's pretty slick, and a Godsend for those of us that like to hold on to older software.
  20. Here is a quick matrix, based on the assumption that the proposer is most interested in keeping their job, and therefor has no real leverage: Round 1 - 7, total votes needed=3, pool=5, share=$333,333.33 Round 2 - 6, total votes needed=2, pool=4), share=$500,000.00 Round 3 - 5, total votes needed=2, pool=3), Share=$500,000.00 Round 4 - 4, total votes needed=1, pool=2), share=$500,000.00 Round 5 - 3, total votes needed=1, pool=1), Share=$???????????? Round 6 - 2, total votes needed=0, pool=0), Share=$1,000,000.00 By round 5 Exec#5 really has no real control, and may need to hand all $1,000,000 to Exec#7 just to keep their job. So I see no reason to treat #7 any differently than #6. As a matter of fact, #6 now seems completely out of the running for any money as round 5 would almost certainly resolve the issue in #7s favor as #5 would be looking to keep their job. #5 would definitely have leverage over 7 in a "take it or leave it" fashion, but then #7 would have leverage over #5 in a "make me happy or you're fired" fashion. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts mergedAfter some consideration I think that #7 should be left out of the equation rather than #6. If #6 is a rational person then they have to realize that, while they can't lose their job, they have no chance of ever getting to make their "$1 million to me" proposal. #5 would split the bonus with #7 before that (though the nature of that split would be interesting!). So I would change my group to 2,3 and 6 getting $333,333.33 as 2 and 6 have nothing to lose by voting yes, and 3 won't get a better deal either way. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts mergedAlso, I figured you all might be interested in this article: http://euclid.trentu.ca/math/bz/pirates_gold.pdf It's a discussion of a similar application of game theory.. but I think the restrictions and demands are sufficiently different that we can cast out their conclusion.
  21. You do realize that you are just stereotyping millions of people based on anecdotal evidence, right? It is no different than anyone here posting "Kill Bush" posters at a G8 protest and then assuming it was a massive rally to kill George Bush. or labeling the environmental movement any time Al Gore says something stupid... or an environmental protest has "Kill Bush" signs. Seriously, you and I don't see eye to eye on almost anything but you are smarter than that.
  22. Well, Paul has lots of skeletons in his closet regardless of his corruption. It's a strange thing to pick Kucinich and Paul since the first sees UFOs and the latter warns of the coming race wars. Are there any sane congresspeople that aren't corrupt?
  23. They're not mutually exclusive, bascule. It is quite possible to cut spending AND taxes. And they don't even have to be equal... you can cut spending by MORE than you cut taxes. Amazing stuff, huh?
  24. No, I'm not going to concede your point, Womble, as this president is set to be the one to bankrupt us. It makes no difference what previous presidents spent when the current one is determined to spend ever penny they did more than twice over. I don't think you fully get my point. This president is spending like we haven't maxed out our credit, while I am arguing that we most likely are on that brink. In a way he is making the same mistake that Wall Street made in the years leading up to the credit collapse (See: The Formula that Killed Wall Street), that is, he is taking our ability to take on debt for granted. But when that credit dries up, and it will, everything falls apart. All the well meaning social programs in the world don't mean anything at that point. It reminds me of a funny story that Donald Trump told once about he turn rebound as a business man from a big spending 80s dufus to a more resonable real estate tycoon. As he tells it he had just gone bust, and was $1 billion dollars in debt. After hearing this he got in his car and headed home. As a red light he saw a guy washing windows on the street corner and realized that that guy had $1 billion more than he had. We are headed to where he was as a nation. We will be flat dead broke, and realizing that Somalia has $25 trillion more dollars than we do. We can argue percentages all day long, if you want. But at some point, as I would guess you know, a geometric debt growth stops be feasible. The president shows no willingness to reduce spending other than crazy spending plans to lower spending. That is a shame too as he successfully ran for president partly on the crazy fiscal strategy of the previous president... only to show that we hadn't seen real crazy yet.
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