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Everything posted by Pangloss

  1. Me. I set the rules. (grin)
  2. Just a reminder: This interview airs starting tonight.
  3. No offense intended. Those are certainly good questions, of course, and the reason why so many have suggested that we're seeing the fall of "American imperialism". Ironic to see that criticism come from places like Britain and France, but I suppose it shouldn't be, given that those two nations have become experts in proselytizing from the altar of self-flagellation. Iraq is certainly showing signs of being our Suez Canal. (Does that make Iran our future Falklands?) At any rate, you basically have a choice of two ways to look at it: 1) Might makes right. It's not terrorism when we do it because we have the biggest guns. Not a fun position because it lacks any moral high ground. 2) You can suffer the pangs of equivocation and try to rationalize it in the details, such as, for example, the fact that we don't target women/children/civilians (which of course is small consolation since they get killed anyway). The question ultimately is whether you believe freedom is worth fighting for. If you don't, there are plenty of people in the world who are more than willing to explain the error of that reasoning. One of them no longer has that ability, because of people who are willing to "fight the good fight". The price of freedom, you know. Now be a good chap, pass the tea, and try not to think about the poor, hapless Indian, yours or mine. ;-)
  4. I agree with that (and it was well put). My objection here is not so much that the administration wasn't deceptive, but that the "Bush lied kids died" mantra is about politics, not getting at the truth.
  5. Well actually Iraq was linked with Al Qaeda and terrorism. The 9/11 Commission Report documents this pretty well. But if you mean that Iraq was not involved in 9/11, I agree, and so does the 9/11 Commission. The president has been trying to explain that he never said Iraq was linked with 9/11, but I've seen statements by administration officials in the 2003 time-frame which seem so imply that they were involved in 9/11. So while I wouldn't exactly call that a "lie", there did seem to be some specific impression-making going on and I can understand why some view it as deceptive. Just to give an example, let's say that an administration official says something like: "Iraq has WMDs and ties with Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda did 9/11. You do the math." No lies there, as you say, but is it deceptive? Yah, maybe. I respect that position. That's one of my objections to Iraq as well. It also leaves us in the position of no longer holding the moral high ground in international debate. It was a huge mistake to put us in this position.
  6. Ah, an anarchist. Always good for a lively discussion. (grin)
  7. My mistake. Allawi, Chalawi, Chewbacca, Han Solo... oh, nonono.... I think Iraq and terrorism are certainly major issues. Kinda hard to see them otherwise.
  8. Of course. But Lockheart says that and the next thing you know it's all over Al Jazeera. How's he then going to do anything *but* pull us out immediately? My point really is that this seems to suggest that the election is becoming a referendum on the war in Iraq. Bush if you want any chance of success, Kerry if you think we've already failed. But that's not what Kerry says he stands for. So as an undecided voter I have to wonder -- what does this guy stand for, if he doesn't stand for what he SAYS he stands for? Are tax cuts also out the window? Should we stop worrying our pretty little heads about the deficit and just put the Democrats in charge of it, and all will be well in the world, and everyone will love us?
  9. This one is more amusing if you know how hurricanes are named. (grin)
  10. I know you're talking to Douglas, but I have to interject: You don't know that McClellan (or Fleischer for that matter) weren't mislead either. Look I'm not going to stand here and demand ridiculous strings of misleads and innuendos. I'm not blind, I understand the inferrence that after a while it reaches the point of extremely unlikely that nobody in the Bush adminsitration knew the truth. The problem is that ridiculousness goes both ways, and none of this supposition really answers the question. Maybe it's not answerable, I don't know, but I was hoping for something more than just equivocation reaching the point of nullification.
  11. Kerry says he'll stay and send more troops. But there seem to be quite a few reasons to think he'll do otherwise. - He's insulted our alliance partners, calling them the coalition of the coerced and bribed (or something like that) - His campaign manager called the interim PM of Iraq a "puppet", which seriously undercuts Chalawi's ability to govern right now (probably getting huge airplay on Al Jazeera and Iraqi TV) - His statements that he'll send more troops to Iraq are contradicted by his statements that he'll "end the back-door draft" of guard/reserve deployment - He's actually said (if I remember correctly) that he thinks we should pull out within six months of the Iraqi election in January I have grave doubts about Kerry's willingness to stay the course and get Iraq back on track. Where am I wrong?
  12. What do you mean by "strawman me"? I don't see any proof that Bush lied here. What you have is basically this (which I knew before we began this discussion, so you've told me nothing I didn't already know): 1) The evidence of WMDs was incorrect. 2) Some of the evidence may have been manufactured by somebody. Back to square one. I certainly agree with your general point that people often lie. I don't have a problem with people expressing the OPINION that Bush lied. But so far it's just opinion, not fact.
  13. Can you be more specific, please? What is it about these massive articles which you believe proves deception on the part of the Bush administration?
  14. Actually, if 60 Minutes can get its head out of its arse and show that report, it will supposedly show that the administration did NOT make up the nuclear business. It was sold a line, just like CBS News was. I've yet to see any actual evidence of "lie". I think it's just something the left is extremely hung-up on, because it's necessary to demonize the president in order to acquire more "ABB" votes for Kerry. Not saying that's true of anybody here, just my take on the far-left establishment's promotion of that position.
  15. Yah, if the point here is that more scientists and other intelligent individuals from atypical professions should get involved in politics, I wholeheartedly agree. There's certainly room for new insight and ideas. I also would love to see more "temporary" politicians -- people who go into it as a kind of side trip along their career paths. We should applaud that sort of thing -- let it be seen as a high point in someone's resume or CV, rather than a low point or irrelevent side-track. But in the final analysis, I believe we would be fine with our existing set of politicians if voters paid more attention to the issues and let themselves be less swayed by partisan/ideological spin.
  16. Or... just a thought... we could elect competent and intelligent people from all areas of professional and academic experience, who are interested in objective, fair representation by means of a popular vote utilized by people that pay attention to the issues and aren't fooled by spin and hypocrisy. The problem isn't in who we elect, but in who is doing the electing.
  17. Ten reasons that Hurricane Season is like Christmas: 10. Decorating the house (boarding up windows) 9. Dragging out boxes that haven't been used since last season (camping gear, flashlights) 8. Last minute shopping in crowded stores 7. Regular TV shows are pre-empted for "specials" 6. Family coming to stay with you 5. Family and friends from out-of-state calling 4. Buying food you don't normally buy ... and in large quantities 3. Days off from work 2. Candles And the number one reason Hurricane Season is like Christmas ... 1. At some point you know you're going to have a tree in your house!
  18. Well, I certainly share your concern, and I applaud your standing up and speaking out. But I think you overstate the problem. And when you say things like "politicians are not educated enough to make these types of decisions...", I have to object. A lot of politicians are quite well educated. Doctors, lawyers, businessmen with post-graduate degrees, etc. One might even argue that their education makes them more qualified than most scientists to make decisions for society as a whole. I don't want scientists to make any decisions. I want politicians to make them, following a rigorous debate by society at large. Scientists should inform, not decide. It's not just the ethical/morality check that we need, to stop those "horrific scientific experiments", as you put it. I wonder if you realize how frequently scientists disagree about the best course of action. And that's actually a *healthy* thing -- science is often at its best when scientists are at odds with one another. But that kind of back-and-forth doesn't lend itself well to decisions regarding the spending of money, for example. A scientist can develop a theory and then explore possibilities, just to see where they might lead. A politician doesn't have that luxury. I think you'd be hard pressed to prove that all scientists agree with your assertion that "scientific data all points toward world wide human extinction". On what do you base this conclusion? Just to give a counter example, we've heard it said many times that global warming is caused by human industry. But how would we know? We've only been collecting temperature data for a centurry or so. Beyond that we have nothing, because we can't collect seasonal, date-specific temperature data from archeology. But we do have general archeological evidence that suggests that ice ages come and go, and temperatures rise and fall over time. So there's reason to think that global warming is NOT caused by human industry. But it's not something we can prove either way.
  19. I think you need to be careful about broad generalizations like that. I think we could come up with plenty of examples where scientists are indeed listened-to and even heeded. I also think it's important for society to put checks and balances on technology so that ethics and morality play an important role. The main thing you said that prompted me to say that is this statement: Scientists shouldn't make laws, in my opinion.
  20. What scientific evidence is it that you think the politicians are failing to listen to?
  21. Pangloss


    Jeanne, Jeanne, the dancing machine. And there's another one behind it. =P When Jeanne hits (tonight) it'll set a record for most hurricanes to strike Florida in a single season. Both blike and myself are in relatively safe areas according to the path, though. I just drew a little map here based on the above map to show roughly where he and I are located in the state. Actually I'm a bit closer than my circle would indicate, but not quite as close to the path as blike is. But the "dirty" side of a hurricane is the right side, and we're both on the left side, and he's on the far side of a bunch of land, so the most either of us will likely see is a little wind and maybe a lot of rain.
  22. I could have phrased it a little better. I meant, of course, that "occupied" space is not infinite. Thanks for the correction.
  23. Yah I knew that a trillion wasn't right. That underscores my point, I think, as well, which was that the president AND congress (especially the House) needed to do something creative and forward-thinking with that surplus. What we got instead was more spending on defense, more spending on entitlements, and $400+ billion given back to the taxpayer, who, as it turns out, didn't really need it to jumpstart the economy. Just to give another example of how ridiculous the entitlement spending has gotten, take a look at "No Child Left Behind", which is the federal education budget. Note that there are two key misperception issues here: 1) Most people don't think we spend ENOUGH in this program. 2) Most people have no idea how much we've spent -- people act like Kerry wants to FIX NCLB with another $27 billion. $27 billion??!! That's a *drop in the bucket*! We've already spent HUNDREDS of billions on NCLB, with another $130 billion planned if Bush wins. And the Democrats want to spend MORE. And the program is NOT EVEN TWO YEARS OLD. Note that NO money was going from the Federal budget to the states to pay for education prior to NCLB. None! (Aside from a few minor special programs, like afterschool or school lunch programs.) NCLB is a FIX for the fact that the states are all bankrupt and cutting back on education spending. (That's why the Democrats are able to say that "educational spending has shrunk under Bush". Of course it has, but state spending has nothing to do with Bush.) Just to kinda summarize: 1) The Republicans have been very successful in convincing us that the Democrats cut defense spending and they're building it back up to a safe level. Truth: The Dems DIDN'T cut it, and it's actually DOUBLED in size in the last ten years. 2) The Democrats have been very successful in convincing us that we're not spending enough on local education in the Federal budget. Truth: We've NEVER spent money from the Federal budget on local education -- that's NEW, and it's obscenely out of control.
  24. I generally agree with that, except that I would say that both sides attack hypocritically.
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