Continued from here where we were getting off topic.
In reply to PeppyHare66, #253:
In reply to Exodusv, #248:
First, Germany didn't have plans to conquer America. Hitler's relationship with the American Nazi Party was for photo ops only. Any talk of invading America is either not real or not a serious consideration of Germany.
Really? Because residents of the Crystal City internment Camp, Fort Douglas, and Fort Oglethorp for in Texas sent to the USA by the Nazi's in late 30s to lay the framework for exactly what you're saying Hitler had no intention of doing would tend to disagree with you. An admittedly small portion of the 10k+ germans detained within American leading up to the second world war, but more than enough to suggest that germany had more than a passing interest in invasion.
You're being absurd. Even if FDR's motivations weren't at all motivated by a personal passion (I have a hard time seeing you say any bad things about FDR outside of this discussion), there's plenty of examples to draw from. Paul Kagame is a good example. Even though he uses some authoritarian tactics, it was his RPF's intervention that stopped the Rwandan genocide. It's like if you've created this standard that views only the immediate effects of a certain policy, but not the result of it.
I'm actually of the opinion that FDR was one of the absolute worst presidents in human history with only John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, Warren G. Harding, and Ulyssies S. Grant lower than he on ranks of presidential failures. He was a very emotive president and a very popular president but his handling of the Great Depression was disastrously mishandled. Were it not for the second World War and the resulting wartime economic boom I have little doubt that he would be remembered in disfavor. WW2 saved both FRD's legacy and the American economy.
Like how stealing guns is a horrid thing to do, never mind that it's done to shoot baby eaters.
I've already answered this in full.
In reply to Exodusv, #239:
In reply to PeppyHare66, #236:
In reply to Rainwizzard, #237:
The use of force, especially lethal force, must always be held up the the greatest of scrutiny.
Yes the state is obligated to investigate the lethal use of an illegally obtained weapon even if the victim in question is a child murderer otherwise the defense "he eats babies" can be used as a get out of jail free card for weapons theft and murder. Likewise the use of a firearm to kill two people within an arms length of the president equally merits of full legal investigation.
Why? Because the law has to apply to everybody equally and protect everybody equally or there is no point in having it.
The reason we have laws like the good samaritan laws on the books and there are laws in place for extenuating circumstances is so that when these extraordinary situations arise there is a legal framework within which the law can come to a reasonable conclusion on how to deal with the use of violence that is not directly sanctioned by the state. Likewise jury trials exist to account for these situations.
No matter how often you use of the "Appeal to Common Practice" and the "Appeal to Emotion" fallacies doesn't make that argument any less irrelevant.
In reply to Exodusv, #251:
Why would FDR want to allow the victorious nations to re-expand their power? Thats exactly what they did after WWI, and it was the same old European Colonialism no different than it ever was. A multipolar world in which several powerful nations compete against one another is a recipe for constant warfare.
It isn't a matter of what FDR would want, its just the nature of war. Generally speaking the victorious army will, if possible, try to gain either territory or mineral resources at the end of any way. If anything WW1 only increased the desires of most nations to gain a larger Empire, which is essentially what helped start the second world war in the first place. The USA was not, however, in a good position for retaining any territorial gains provided that the Allies were to win the second world war so it makes sense that they would start a treaty that would weaken their primary post war rivals.
The bipolar world of 1945 and 1990 was one of the most peaceful eras of world history between all the major world powers. The mono polar world from the 90's to today is even more peaceful.
FDR would not, America had no realistic way of retaining any territorial gains in Asia. Churchill and Stalin however had substantially more realistic frameworks within which to expand their borders following an Allied victory.
That being said FDR was not clairvoyant. He had no way of knowing at the time this treaty was signed that Atomic bomb would result in that society. Based upon all history leading up to that point FDR had no possible way of knowing that the USSR and US bipolar MAD fears would cause decades of unprecedented peace. Without the invention of the Atomic bomb it would not have been possible, the Manhattan project didn't even start till the following year.
He did however have a reasonable amount of evidence to suggest that a Mono-polar situation was ideal, which is the logical conclusion of Atlantic Charter provided that the Allies were to abide by it following the second world war.
Post edited 7/05/11 7:52AM
Cairo (CNN) -- A senior Egyptian general admits that "virginity checks" were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities.
The allegations arose in an Amnesty International report, published weeks after the March 9 protest. It claimed female demonstrators were beaten, given electric shocks, strip-searched, threatened with prostitution charges and forced to submit to virginity checks.
At that time, Maj. Amr Imam said 17 women had been arrested but denied allegations of torture or "virginity tests."
But now a senior general who asked not to be identified said the virginity tests were conducted and defended the practice.
"The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine," the general said. "These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs)."
The general said the virginity checks were done so that the women wouldn't later claim they had been raped by Egyptian authorities.
"We didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren't virgins in the first place," the general said. "None of them were (virgins)."
This demonstration occurred nearly a month after Egypt's longtime President Hosni Mubarak stepped down amid a wave of popular and mostly peaceful unrest aimed at his ouster and the institution of democratic reforms.
Afterward, Egypt's military -- which had largely stayed on the sidelines of the revolution -- officially took control of the nation's political apparatus as well, until an agreed-upon constitution and elections.
Mubarak denies ordering shootings
The March 9 protest occurred in Tahrir Square, which became famous over 18 historic and sometimes bloody days and nights of protests that led to Mubarak's resignation.
But unlike in those previous demonstrations, the Egyptian military targeted the protesters. Soldiers dragged dozens of demonstrators from the square and through the gates of the landmark Egyptian Museum.
Salwa Hosseini, a 20-year-old hairdresser and one of the women named in the Amnesty report, described to CNN how uniformed soldiers tied her up on the museum's grounds, forced her to the ground and slapped her, then shocked her with a stun gun while calling her a prostitute.
"They wanted to teach us a lesson," Hosseini said soon after the Amnesty report came out. "They wanted to make us feel that we do not have dignity."
The treatment got worse, Hosseini said, when she and the 16 other female prisoners were taken to a military detention center in Heikstep.
There, she said, she and several of other female detainees were subjected to a "virginity test."
"We did not agree for a male doctor to perform the test," she said. But Hosseini said her captors forced her to comply by threatening her with more stun-gun shocks.
"I was going through a nervous breakdown at that moment," she recalled. "There was no one standing during the test, except for a woman and the male doctor. But several soldiers were standing behind us watching the backside of the bed. I think they had them standing there as witnesses."
The senior Egyptian general said the 149 people detained after the March 9 protest were subsequently tried in military courts, and most have been sentenced to a year in prison.
Authorities later revoked those sentences "when we discovered that some of the detainees had university degrees, so we decided to give them a second chance," he said.
The senior general reaffirmed that the military council was determined to make Egypt's democratic transition a success.
"The date for handover to a civil government can't come soon enough for the ruling military council," he said. "The army can't wait to return to its barracks and do what it does best -- protect the nation's borders."
CNN via SSDN
Seriously? Are you kidding me? I had something pithy to say but frankly I keep degenerating into an incoherent stream of swearwords and less than congratulatory terms about the Egyptian military.
Post edited 5/31/11 7:35AM
Borrowed from SSDN
Al Jazeera is reporting that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is considering stepping down:
A political dispute between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader is reported to have intensified.
Ahmadinejad is said to be contemplating resigning after Heidar Moslehi, the intelligence minister he had sacked, was reinstated by Khamenei.
The president is understood to have shirked some of his duties and skipped cabinet meetings for the past ten days in anger over the decision.
Mehrdad Khonsari, an analyst with the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies in London, told Al Jazeera on Friday that the dispute, which began last month, had become "serious".
Khonsari told Al Jazeera that Iran could see an uprising like the ones seen elsewhere in the Middle East in recent months. "You have to bear in mind that what we're witnessing in the Middle East it all started with events in Iran some 20 months ago and Iran is not immune from the global cts from what we're witnessing as a result of this Arab awakening," he said.
The Guardian, meanwhile, has more on the dispute, include the arrest of Ahmadinejad's aides for being involved in "magic":
Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits).
Security researchers have discovered that Apple's iPhone keeps track of where you go - and saves every detail to a secret file on the device which is copied to the owner's computer when synchronised.
The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone's recorded co-ordinates along with a timestamp, meaning that anyone who stole the phone or the computer could discover details about the owner's movements using a simple program.
Read more: www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/apple-iphone-secretly-records-owners-every-move-20110421-1dpab.html#ixzz1KPlpdTqP
These are harsh words for a Sunday morning, but the occasion screams out for them. I take them from the Bible; please forgive me.
The Florida Legislature proved this past week, once and for all, that it is the utter Whore of Babylon.
It is now legal in our state to pay off the Legislature directly. Who says so? The Legislature.
This is not a joke.
This is not satire.
This is Florida — where the laws of our democracy are now openly, officially For Sale.
On Thursday afternoon, with greedy lip-smacking speed, the Legislature voted to relegalize a bygone and corrupt institution, outlawed in this state for more than two decades, known as "leadership funds."
These "leadership funds" are campaign slush funds operated legally and officially by the leaders of the Legislature themselves:
The speaker of the Florida House and his chosen successor, the "speaker designate."
The president of the Florida Senate and his successor.
The leaders of the minority party in the House and Senate.
So now, just as it was in Florida's corrupt past, if you are an interest group that wants a law passed, you simply go to the leaders of the House and Senate …
And you pay them off directly.
I feel the need to repeat: This is not a joke.
This is now the law of Florida, as of Thursday — for they tripped over themselves to make it effective immediately.
And so this is our stewardship of the great nation birthed by Washington and Jefferson and preserved by Lincoln.
This is the American legislative process once practiced by Clay and Webster.
This is what we have come to.
"Lawmakers" walking around with open gunny sacks, selling the democracy, frankly, proudly, wickedly, shamelessly, amorally.
• • •
If you tell yourself a lie, and if everybody around you tells the exact same lie, and it is vitally important that all of you believe it — then all of you will believe it.
Especially if you all profit from it.
And so every single person in Tallahassee who voted for this outrageously wicked law on Thursday will tell you exactly the same lie:
It's an improvement.
It's a reform.
Here is Tallahassee thinking. Here is how they rationalize it:
See, it will be better if interest groups can just pay off the Legislature directly. We will list the contributions in a separate report and everybody can see it. This will be more "transparent."
Yes, a nice, separate report! Makes me feel better!
Except for two tiny, teeny things:
1. The money is laundered anyway.
They turn right around and pour their ill-gotten money into local elections around the state to perpetuate their power. Local candidates Smith and Jones are still being bankrolled by corporations, or unions as the case may be, hidden through the leadership funds.
2. The second teeny, tiny problem is, in case I have not adequately mentioned it …
THE LEGISLATURE IS BEING PAID OFF
Good grief! Jehoshaphat! Are you kidding me? Are you kidding?
In what universe should the very writers of law in a democracy operate their own slush funds, into which those seeking favorable treatment can pour money?
If you are personal friends with, or a fellow Rotary member of, a Florida legislator who voted for this — heck, if you are married to someone who voted for this — you will want to believe him or her. This is human nature. It is loyalty. It is understandable.
Ed Hooper of Clearwater. Peter Nehr of Tarpon Springs.
Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, who promised to take people to the "woodshed." (Did he mean, so they could give money there?)
Jim Frishe of St. Petersburg. Dana Young of Tampa. Will Weatherford of Wesley Chapel, the next speaker, whom I like tremendously.
I am sure that if you are among their friends or family, you will want to believe them. They will speak very smoothly about it.
But here is the reality. Here is the truth.
Legislators. Sworn to the sacred duty of writing the laws of a free people. Taking legal, direct payoffs from those seeking favorable laws.
If you can swallow that, then your moral relativism knows no bounds.
• • •
Here is who voted for this from our part of the state, and who voted against it.
Senators voting yes:
Dennis Jones, R-Treasure Island; Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg; Jim Norman, R-Tampa; Ronda Storms, R-Brandon.
Senators voting no:
Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey; Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland; Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa.
House members voting yes:
Larry Ahern, R-Seminole; Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton; Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg; Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview; Richard Corcoran, R-New Port Richey; Jim Frishe, R-St. Petersburg; Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City; James Grant, R-Tampa; Shawn Harrison, R-Tampa; Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater; John Legg, R-New Port Richey; Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland; Peter Nehr, R-Tarpon Springs; Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill; Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness; Greg Steube, R-Bradenton; Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel; Dana Young, R-Tampa.
House members voting no:
Janet Cruz, D-Tampa; Richard Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg; Betty Reed, D-Tampa; Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg.
Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city!
[Last modified: Mar 26, 2011 10:54 PM]
.... I truly have no words.
I've been in a foul mood lately ( lord only knows why a 8.9 magnitude earthquake, a tsunami, an active volcano, and a damn nuclear meltdown would put me in a bad mood) and the invariable discussion between those of us waiting in line at the red cross of why god would allow bad things to happen to good people came up. In discussing this we ended up reaching a slight variation on this topic, namely what purpose does free will serve?
If you assume that (1) there is an omnipotent creator of all things and that (2) he created mankind with free will then that begs the question of what purpose it served to do that? If the purpose was to have people choosing to worship him wouldn't it have been easier to simply not have that element at all?
And on a slightly related note a large part of catholic and Islamic dogma is that satan rebelled against god. The reasons for doing so vary, the catholics claim it was jealousy and the muslims claim it was because "unable to perceive the Divine Image in Adam and capable only of seeing the exterior, disobeyed the divine mandate to bow down. His refusal (according to the Tawasin) was due to a misconceived idea of God's uniqueness and because of his refusal to abandon himself to God in love." Either way the idea that Satan was cast out of heaven for ignoring gods will is quite clear, raising the question of how an angel (somone ostensibly without free will) was able to rebel against god at all.
Illinois repealed the death penalty today, minus the governor's signature.
SPRINGFIELD — In a landmark vote, the Illinois Senate narrowly opted to abolish the state’s death penalty Tuesday after two hours of rancorous debate that pitted the rights of crime victims against a criminal justice system that some said was irreparably broken.
The Senate’s 32-25 vote sends the legislation to Gov. Quinn, who advocated keeping the moratorium on executions first imposed by former Gov. George Ryan but so far has been silent about the abolition legislation.
“We have a historic opportunity today,” said Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), the bill’s chief Senate sponsor. “We have an opportunity to part company as a state with countries that are the worst human-rights violators and join the civilized world and end this practice of risking putting to death innocent people.”
Twenty men sentenced to death and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit have been exonerated since Illinois re-imposed the death penalty in 1977. Illinois would be the third state in the last four years to end executions if Quinn signs the measure.
During debate, Raoul invoked the names of Randy Steidl, who watched the debate from the Senate gallery, and Jerry Hobbs as prime examples of why Illinois needs to end the practice of executing condemned killers by lethal injection.
Steidl was convicted of the 1986 stabbing deaths of a young couple in Downstate Paris but won his freedom after a key witness recanted her testimony that she witnessed the murders, and state authorities found police mishandled the initial probe.
“I believe the Illinois state Senate put partisan politics aside and voted for humanity,” Steidl said. “As everyone has described, the death penalty system in Illinois has been broken for decades.”
Hobbs spent five years in prison for the 2005 murder of his eight-year-old daughter, Laura, and her nine-year-old friend Krystal Tobias in Zion, but he was cleared after DNA evidence from the crime scene implicated someone else. Hobbs has since sued several suburban law enforcement agencies, alleging he was tortured into making a confession.
“We have to take ourselves back in history to what we were reading about Jerry Hobbs prior to us finding out that he didn’t do it,” Raoul said. “What were you thinking? I submit to you, you were probably thinking that man needs to be put to death. But he didn’t do it.”
Opponents said taking away the death penalty would take away an important tool from prosecutors and represented a slap at victims’ families.
“I spoke to the victims’ families immediately after their children or loved ones were murdered. I saw the look in their eye. I’m the one who had to tell them what happened to their child,” said state Sen. John Millner (R-Carol Stream), the former Elmhurst police chief who helped investigate the ritualistic murders that led to the 1999 execution of serial killer Andrew Kokoraleis.
Like Kokoraleis, the last man put to death in Illinois, prosecutors need the ultimate punishment to pursue criminals that are the “worst of the worst,” like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, serial killer John Wayne Gacy or, if he is convicted, accused Arizona mass murderer Jared Loughner, opponents said.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez issued a statement decrying the vote.
“As a career prosecutor, I believe that the death penalty should be available as a deterrent to violent crime in the most heinous of cases, particularly at a time when we have witnessed outrageous crimes such as the senseless murder of five Chicago Police officers this past year,” she said.
“It’s a question of righting the greatest wrong. It is not a question, I repeat, of vengeance. It’s a question of the people being outraged at such terrible crimes, such bloodletting, the massacre on Sept. the 11th, the massacre recently in Arizona,” said Sen. William Haine (D-Alton), a former Downstate state’s attorney, who voted against the bill.
But state Sen. Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago) argued worry over being executed did not keep Loughner from allegedly shooting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and killing six others in a weekend rampage.
“Arizona’s got the death penalty. It didn’t stop that crank. It didn’t stop that idiot,” Hendon said. “It’s not the deterrent you think.”
An aide to Quinn would not divulge the governor’s stance on the legislation.
“Gov. Quinn plans to review the bill when he receives it from the legislature,” spokeswoman Annie Thompson said.
Post edited 1/12/11 3:00AM
This shit is really pretty much out of control. It seems like every single thread I've been in for the past couple of months has had at least one post ends up being a multi-post by no fault of the user. It keeps going something like this
Step 1: The user will click on the "submit" button and the page will seem to do nothing.
Step 2: So he'll click agian... and it will do nothing.
Step 3: Thinking that maybe it took when he wasn't looking he will go back to the main thread to check and see if anything has taken but there will be no post from him.
Step 4: So he'll try to post it again only to have the same non-post happen.
Step 5: So he'll try a slightly different post thinking that maybe it's a character limit issue. But it won't appear so he'll say fuck it any walk away.
Step 6: As soon as he walks away there will be a freaking 4-15 repeat post of what seemed to not be appearing on the server.
This isn't a flood control issue, it happens sometimes with 5-10 minute gaps between attempts at posting. It's like the site is hiding the posts till a different user posts after them.
No. No. NO. NO Why in the name of christ do we do this?
I'm seriously starting to worry if the future we need to fear is not the future of Orwellian control but the future of Bradbury in which we lack the ability to discuss anything but the mundane and the useless. America seems to have latched onto ignorance as a safety blanket, as though by cloaking ourselves in ignorance we can force the world to be less complex. This is, of course, not true of all Americans but I seriously pray for a day when I don't have to explain what a Snookie is to my students.
I'd write this off as simply the general mindless dreck that gets pumped out to appease the amorphous "general viewer," a creature of such bland ignorance that I fear it isn't capable of survival without an IV drip of McRibs and a rascal, but we seem to have started elevating ignorance to a political credential. The major proofs provided by the "Tea Party" candidates seem to be generally "anti-credentials" rather that proof of capability. Sarah Palin is like a walking caricature. I'm starting to believe that she's the reincarnated version of Barry Bostwick's caracter from Spin City.
Am I hallucinating this or have we gone insane?
I've been finding that the various debate sites I frequent as well as my own real life conversations have been becoming increasingly religiously framed. I can't tell if it has always been this way or if I have only become more aware of it now that I am a, ethnically speaking if not philosophically, a religious minority within the country I live but America and Western Europe are seeming more and more "God" issue centric with time.The idea of an omnipotent and omnipresent force controlling the strings of the universe and providing an invisible scale of justice, retributions, and rewards is appealing and terrifying at the same time. The idea of something that wondrous and awesome deciding to create me out of an act of love is miraculous but no more so than the idea that centuries of random evolutions led to my own creation. People have used the "will of god," to justify their own point of view for as far back as we have written history and it clearly hasn't stopped as of late. Some of the greatest works of art and compassion as well as some of the greatest acts of destruction and depravity have been done in his/her/their/its name.
All of which begs the simple question, is there a God?