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The Bear's Key

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  1. I've seen people respond with a rule-of-thumb to a big claim that would turn well established theories on their head. Can't remember it though. Something like: incredible/exceptional/unusual claims need incredible/exceptional/unusual proof.
  2. How often does science prove something entirely, conclusively without any direct evidence? (if at all) Can you list any examples? And somewhat related... In the legal world, can a case can be proved entirely with circumstantial evidence? (Also examples if ya got it)
  3. Welcome back ParanoiA. I had been saddened not having you around. Go find a mirror and puke on it. Sometimes we're so obsessed, it's possible to twist the concept of freedom so much we assume wild thoughts/motives onto people and conversations. If you as a parent had sent off your kid flashing huge bills of money, instead of warning them to hide the money from view -- knowing it's unsafe in the neighboring areas -- then you'd share blame for what'd happen. I don't know where you get the idea that the robbers are somehow excused by your irresponsibility deserving a share of blame, by the way. And, of course a woman victim shouldn't get blamed for wearing clothes that are revealing. But walking unprotected in a place where you're going to trigger the sexual desperation of very twisted mindsets is stupid, dangerous, and irresponsible. Had the woman strolled naked through such a place, it'd be repugnant for anyone to see it as permission to trespass her body. Does it mean that women didn't act stupidly? If not, your reasoning sounds awfully a bit like political correctness. Maybe you're thinking of instances where stupid guys are having conversations and say it's the woman's fault if she teases a guy by wearing something extremely revealing. That kind of conversation pisses me off too. But our conversation now isn't about personal choice of wear -- as it's perfectly legitimate for a woman to even go naked is she damn well pleased and not have to suffer harrassment or assault. But if she entered a back alley in that manner without escort or protection, it doesn't mean she's inviting what happens, but it does mean she's highly naive and incompetent of rational thought is she doesn't get it, that odds are worse in such a vacant/hidden place than it would be in a crowded street or in a daylit park. However, if she knew full what to expect and didn't get suprised by the obvious approaches that will happen, and prepared mentally to not cower and instead project herself as strongly independent -- her stance more likely to cause intimidation and ready to defend herself -- that I can respect. But whatever, if you still continue to have a problem, then I don't get your view that, when anyone's highlighting someone else's personal irresponsibility -- for example, they unwisely hadn't readied any precautionary steps for escape or defense -- it's somehow an excuse for the victim's assaulters. Don't you see when a girl at the strip club leaves for her vehicle with a bodyguard in tow? And what if she claimed "oh I'll be alright, nothing could happen". The bodygaurd will escort her regardless and possibly say "don't be so naive". Just so we're clear on the matter, a girl should wear any revealing clothes that she pleases -- or none whatsoever -- and it doesn't mean she's to blame if victimized. Although in a few cases, she needs to learn responsibilty and forethought if she believes walking naked in dangerous places is a fantastic idea. It's most definitely left. The Right are the ones who consistently demonize the ACLU. Or at minimum, the left shares its values just as do libertarians. Here's the deal. I'm not left, but I do share certain values with the liberals, and several values with conservatives, and libertarians even more. But if you happen to think libertarians are somehow immune of being a threat to liberties, you're mistaken. A naive population is as big a threat to liberties as most other threats, and I've met plenty of naive libertarians. So cut the shit (please ) and think instead how many of us can work together on solving very real problems in the world and to liberties today. Here's blunt: I respect honesty, but am unimpressed with superioty complex of political ideology. I can't help but love when people speak bluntly and unapologetically -- without of course masking it as simply a reason/excuse to talk nonsense or a veiled attempt to wield control. (not talking about you btw) My blunt opinion is this: the attitude of various libertarians seems defeatist. As if the world's this awful machine where the anti-liberty police threatens every nook and cranny. Believe it or not, such alarm does often threaten liberty because the energy from it's easily misdirected. And, that free enterprise is the miracle cure, has a preachy quality to it with too many parallels of biblical rhetoric (or prophecy) for my tastes. I'd be with libertarians if the ideology can be tempered enough in such aspects to be compatible with real life. Glad we could talk.
  4. Ha, yeah. Well, there's a good explanation at one website for the visual phenomenon.
  5. That's so cool, Mr Skeptic. My immediate reply to Pangloss is along the same lines. Pangloss, if you walked into a miserably poor area of town, in the evening, with necklaces full of jewels and gold dangling off your shirt, and loads of cash sticking our every pocket, while you counted an impressive stack of $100 bills, then who do you suppose people are going to blame when they hear about you getting robbed/mugged? If they'd blame you, does it mean they're apologists for people who rob or mug innocents? The difference here is that you don't get an honest re-telling by the government of what stupidity they've pulled to incite vengeance by hostile groups. And what makes you think questioning the actions/motives of people who supposedly act in our best interests somehow is making excuses for violent actions by other parties? Haven't you questioned the motives of politicians who enact laws to help out the poor? Does that mean it's apparent proof/indication whether you're for or against the poor? The same way the English have survived bombings and whatnot from the Irish Republican Army, or Europe's survived its various terrorist incidents, or the U.S. has survived its own various terrorist incidents, all of them without having gone to such extremes as we have after 9/11. Targeting the actual source: Osama bin Laden. Until caught, questioned, and faced the consequences. Why ignore anything? The Taliban were given a choice and we proceeded in after they gave bin Laden safe harbor. Really? That's quite some news. In full view? I'm guessing our military's afraid to waste its bullets? You know, the economy. And do you suggets a witch-hunt for the bad people in the world, having enough of a brain not to discuss anything sensitive over the phone, internet, ham radio, etc? Yes, names are powerful in how civilians respond to a law and the expectations created. A war on terror can never end. And there's an industry salivating at the thought of endless war/profits. No, they want to kill the few instigators of their aggression, but unfortunately the instigators chose to hide behind our flag (and safe U.S. borders) -- instigators who likely, and purposely, made it look as if U.S. policy were to blame. Thus let the profits roll in once they've stirred up the angry hornets' nest and the exterminators conveniently show up to resolve the problem they helped create. But they are. You just happen to buy into that same group's premises. The left has protected those it disagrees with. For instance, the ACLU protecting the right of the KKK to march. Amen. Don't lose our heads.
  6. Unregulated activities by plunderers of natural resources in undeveloped nations, and by foreign policy without oversight. Absolutely correct. But they still will need funds and support. Perhaps even liking a bit of applause. They seem to get it, especially as a result of policies like Bush's. Are you going to ignore the increase of attacks (especially the ones you cited) during the "War on Terror"? Explain how anyone can possibly resolve such a war by force and conflict? Plus are you going to ignore a side effect of declaring a war that's impossible to safely declare ended? The benefit it'd have for those in power who view the military as a sacred cow that must always be enormously funded, and might use whatever strategy to achieve it (like crafting a legal policy for an endless war).
  7. You mean opinion piece. That link you provided isn't official news. They might be remembering some news of a real event, but just them saying it doesn't make it so.
  8. Your #1 proposal is a decent start for producing effective change. But #2 needs improvement because we need something that'll be easier for citizens to track, and where it's at, it seems open to loopholes and purposeful confusion by lawmakers. Also you need to include tax cuts as well, to be treated as spending. Oh, please. And it's never as black and white as politicians reveal it. $3.3 Trillion Embezzled Before Bailout First see the link above -- spending mostly by the Pentagon; although a smaller organization gets mention as well, but, then if you continue to read on the following two revelations.... http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/29/eveningnews/main325985.shtml More money for the Pentagon, CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports, while its own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends. "According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions," Rumsfeld admitted. $2.3 trillion — that's $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America. To understand how the Pentagon can lose track of trillions, consider the case of one military accountant who tried to find out what happened to a mere $300 million. "We know it's gone. But we don't know what they spent it on," said Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Plus, the CIA... http://www1.american.edu/salla/Articles/BB-CIA.htm#Legal In 1967, Richardson made an effort to discover the true size of the CIA’s ‘black budget’ by writing a letter to the US Government Printing Office. He requested a copy of the CIA budget “published by the Government in compliance with Article I, section 9, clause 7 of the United States Constitution.” [10] Richardson received replies from the US Treasury that essentially rebuffed his efforts and he decided to start a Federal court action against the US government. He argued that the CIA Act was “repugnant to the Constitution” since it “operates to falsify the regular Statement and Account of all public Money.” ..... Never in the history of this country has so much money been spent without the traditional safeguard of openness and in direct defiance of constitutional provisions…. Billions are spent each year by unknown entities and this amount is spread throughout the Treasury’s reporting system to confuse the public and belittle the Constitution. [12] Thus, since examining the budget would reveal the true cost of the "Black Budget", it therefore must pull money from other budgets in a top secret manner. So how do we know they don't (each year) pull a whopping amount of $$ from progressives' budgets.....yet any Dems knowing this -- only a few -- would be required by law to keep mum. And it'd be just like the right-wing, maximizing the advantage, to then blame progressive laws as inefficient and wasteful, knowing that the (few) Dems who know otherwise, legally can't refute it or discuss nationally sensitive info (taxes supposedly funding progressive agendas, instead spent on black budget) plus keeping it a secret, as well, from the majority of other Republican leaders/peers they've managed to convert against progressive spending. Reflect on something....more ways exist to corrupt a system (or anything) than exist to repair it. And that's the ultimate weakness of having secrecy in government. When it's transparent, everyone can look at how it works at every level. Corruption always wants secrecy as its companion to power. P.S. By the way, not everyone jumps on the opportunity to spend funds handed to them. Lots of money from Stimulous remains unspent, and most of the Tarp funds remain unspent as well.
  9. That's not a good view to begin problem-solving with. The mathematical odds of solving a problem -- and every one is solvable -- increases with each new attempt you give it. But if you don't even bother with it, then your odds of solving the problem approaches zero.* So let's try it again, shall we? If the plan offered a new Amendment to the Constitution requiring all levels of government to inform us of its spending and budgets in real-time -- via internet, email alerts, whatever our fancy -- lots of the waste is gonna vanish and people might enjoy such a level of transparency. How it's done matters, but the plan wouldn't suck....just the implementation of it might, but that'd likely be due more to political sabotage than a fault with the plan. * Really true. I have direct and much experience in this. Wanna know how, just ask.
  10. No, my point is that the U.S. shouldn't be trapped into letting Company X derail our standards of living. Foreign investments are great, but the U.S. needs to grant its "free" trade privileges with strings attached for cases where "investors" try to undermine our system. And in the present. And in the future, they'll continue to. Something to ask yourself: ever see an ordinary, worker citizen be able to dump mass loads of poison into the environment or contaminate a river's fish with mercury -- escape repercussion by law? Who's more free? Can you state a reason why the law should apply more to worker citizens than to businesses owners with more economic power? You've completely misunderstood. I had replied to this... So, again, what if a nation, lacking a Constitution, were harmed by global businesses depleting its resources, and its workers labored in deplorable conditions for meager pay so the greedy business owners -- unethically gaining products cheap -- then undercut the businesses from all Constitutional nations who do free trade unconditionally? Keep in mind that lots of businesses here in the U.S. don't exist in a vaccuum, they have variuos operations around the world, seeking to exploit the unsuspecting. They'd be as ruthless and destructive here as they are in undeveloped nations, except our Constitution stalls them. So when they up-and-leave the U.S. for other nations entirely, it's because 1) our free trade makes it possible for them to relocate without losing profits -- effectively the same as being in the U.S. except with cheap labor -- and 2) those other nations don't have a Constitution protecting its workers against the greedy business practices. Think, jackson33....reverse the scenario: what if nations everywhere allowed workers the same opportunity to escape undesirable work by freely traveling between nations, the same way businesses (via Free Trade) can escape undesirable protections for workers/citizens by moving freely between nations. Let's call it...a Free Travel Agreement. If you give it an honest thinking, you might realize why border control's so important to those businesses who pay crap and treat workers likewise. Everything's a strategy for maximized profits when $$ in law's involved.
  11. Wake up. You forget Montreal, Colombia, Chicago & New York City (headquarters for campaigns of Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush), El Salvador, Israel, London, U.S. Statue of Liberty, Belgium, Italy, Germany, France, and Kenya. And that's in 1980. There's no "step-up". It's simply a continuation of the symptoms resulting from the unregulated activities by global thieves, who are the first to call for a war on the resulting terror incidents. I say put a stop to both terrorists, AND the unregulated activities of global thieves who inspire such hatred and then hide (from the consequences) behind our civilized nations' borders and governments.
  12. It had seemed as if there's ocean behind it, but perhaps not. Difficult to tell. But if the object's really that far, the size is even larger than perceived in the video. Plus, why aren't such trails a more common event -- on the horizon of lands as well? Instead, everyone's response is as if they're seeing it the first time ever. Why? It's a deputy Secretary of Defense who claimed it's a "big" missile. Should be his fault. And what if a real missile had been launched, such as the Delta II rocket nearby to it about four days earlier? Should it have gone unreported if no one knew who had launched it?
  13. Skeptic; That's not a very good analogy; Normally any person who had an affair or was involved in corruption, whether Christian or Atheist, would not get elected. On a level playing ground, as to character, if an Atheist runs as an Atheist the electorate will choose the non Atheist. But he did make a valid analogy. I believe Mr Skeptic's question is this: if the only two candidates running were 1) a politician exposed for corruption and having an extramarital affair, or 2) a politician of clean record who's atheist.....the voters' choice will be? The answer itself exposes something: it's not just about the usual/personal likes or dislikes by voters, their reasoning approaches the extreme. For the atheist is just a person who happens to not believe, rather than someone whose agenda is to further a political cause.
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