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Author Topic: Political Discussion  (Read 11214 times)

zeno

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Sometimes silence too can be golden.
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2005, 07:57:37 AM »
Well, I had hoped there would have been more discussion here in humble, yet amazingly cosmopolitan Astoria, concerning not only the imminent Eclipse of human rights (now soon to be codified by law with utmost finality) but what we as individuals can do to change it.  From the short time that I've been here (a little over a year) I have met many a diverse and stimulating individual, all seemingly ready to speak up, stand out and do what they really believe to be right.  I have no illusions about the general awareness of my brethren.  I really believe that 90% of the people I meet in the street really knows what is "going on" and are yearning for something better.

So why the silence?

Is it guilt? Don't be.  No one is to blame.
Is it apathy?  I don' think so, after observing first hand the industry of my fellow Astorians, I know it cannot be apathy.
Is it callousness?  It cannot be.  Everyone I have met here has shown some sign of humanity and sensitivity to one another's pain or joy.

So why the silence?

It must be fear. In fact, I know it is. How do I know? I feel it in my bones. I know it pervades our lives.  I know it because every time I watch the news or even look at the weather section in the newspaper I can see very clearly and very concretely painted in yellow or orange color codes the level of my fear.  When policy in England is to shoot first (maybe seven times in the head) and ask questions later and to examine our own country and see the similarities that are oh so close, to know that when the cops and private security fear the terrorists, when private citizens fear the cops and the terrorists, when our own President cowers in fear of his own constituents surrounded by a contingent of bodyguards rivaling the ancient Julian emperors of Rome, and to see every nation on earth cower in fear of Him as if He were the undisputed Master of the Universe,  When torture has become mainstream serial television, when due process has become a joke and the constitution and the bill of rights are nothing more than "quaint" dreams of an ancient past, when ethnic cleansing happens almost unnoticed and words like genocide provoke no emotional response, when slavery is demoted to a buzzword of the disenfranchised and has no real bearing on how we live today, when War becomes something to be desired and enthusiastically participated in by children who only want to make us proud,
I know that time has come to fear.

I envision a world where there is no killing, no slavery, no poverty, no slandering, no snitching, no disease, no waste... only creativity, love and the pursuit of wisdom, empathy and understanding, where diplomacy and not brute force is considered the best way (ethically and economically) to solve our differences. A world where the freedom to speak is reasserted each and every day by excercising that "inalienable" right, without regard to the consequences, without regard to what people may think of us or want to do to us, without regard to the tyrant of the hour or the corporate superstructure that rewards or punishes us, and with knowledge of the absurdity of how they may condemn us for being who we cannot help but be; that is, who we are, in this, our Precious land of freedom and democracy, or Republic, if you will.

However, I am not so blinded by my own dreams or ideals that I am willing to step upon the dragon.  I am not so unrealistic as to believe that one individual shouting to a nation of sheep will make him or her any more safe or less lonely.  With all conscience, I too must bow down to all powerful fear.  Self-preservation inevitably wins out over ideals and precocious dreams of how the world should be.
So, my fellow Astorians, as one individual to another, as one American to another (I do consider myself a patriot) I am making an active decision to only talk about "safe" things from now on, thereby relegating this cold, lifeless Topic to the dead-letter box to which it so obviously belongs.
And in so doing, I'll let a little piece of me die while saving my own proverbial neck from the scrutiny of Big Brother and soon to be by extension, you're own crushing disapproval.

Peace and Love be with you all,

----Zeno.

Offline jayme

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Political Discussion
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2005, 08:48:42 AM »
Zeno,

Maybe we just need to start a little smaller.

I'm not uninterested in political discussion, oblivious to the what's really going on, ready to roll over and play dead for the Patriot Act, or apathetic.  What I am more than anything else is tired.  I'm tired of discussing only to agree and in agreeing reach the point of well.... what do we do now?  I'm tired of politics and news and the endless stream of entirely similar stories, almost indistinguishable from one another.  

So give me something refreshing and simple.  Give me a source, a primer topic, a little gentle on the brain and I'll ease into this politics thing.

But please don't start too big or too important.  I've got to work up to that.

Or maybe just give me a new news source.  Tell me to read BBC News, listen to some good NPR, catch up on the Daily Show -- point me in the direction of something that doesn't tire me out.

Don't get me wrong here -- I'm not saying YOU are the source of tiredness.  I'm just looking for a little jolt, something with a little caffeine to get me going again.  Wake me up before you hit me with the heavy stuff.

cheers,
jayme
These are pigs.
See francis's friends for kitties.

Telesphoros

  • Guest
a little something to do
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2005, 10:37:59 AM »
http://nosubwaysearches.org/

Here is a small place to start.  If you think these searches are a useless act that is starting us down a slippery slope of rights infringement, use the preformatted e-mail to send a message to our representatives.

zeno

  • Guest
Apology
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2005, 01:00:04 PM »
I didn't mean to be so harsh or so pompous, but you have to admit, that long and tiresome post did elicit a response ;-)

The tiredness thing I can understand.  With all that has happened in the last few years, New Yorkers have been through a lot. Unfortunately, the machinery of oppression never rests. I feel that our morale is being worn down intentionally, just like our shock over the attacks on September 11, has been used to manipulate us successfully. To let our country go without even a word of protest is to justify the use of these tactics of intimidation and fear which will only pave the way to more abuse. We don't have to be a part of this sick process.

This link serves as a great source for news concerning the Act as well as a portal to other resources, one that I think we should pay attention to each and every day our freedom is threatened.  Once that law is signed by Mr. Bush there may be no going back.  Right now it's the subway, tommorow it will be our homes. Please check out the links that they provide:

http://www.patriotwatch.org/

----zeno

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"they that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty or safety" ---Benjamin Franklin

frozenfroot

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don't let that torch go out!
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2005, 01:20:11 PM »
hi zeno



hang in there...



keep posting.



just because there hasn't been a flood of responses doesn't mean we aren't listening, and-or enjoying your posts...



we may simply have other main interests, or be shy, or waiting a little to get to know you before we engage in potentially convroversial debate. (not that controversy isn't desirable- it does take a certain commitment - time, and otherwise, that we may need a little more familiarity to justify.)



personally - i haven't been put off by anything you have said, or any questions you have raised.



although the meaning of the words 'freedom' and 'democracy' seem to be threatened by their recent mis-appropriation as political band-aids for ill-conceived publicly funded profiteering...



i still think some open discussion about related topics might, at least, help some of us feel less isolated in our concerns...



ff

zeno

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Feeling less isolated now.
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2005, 01:45:07 PM »
@ frozenfroot

Your kind words of encouragement mean the world to me. I will continue.

----zeno

Offline merm

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Intelligent Design
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2005, 02:24:25 PM »
I saw something on CSPAN this morning that I found interestingly disturbing:

They had the Presdient of some "Liberty Association" (the "conservative") and put him against the president of some "Association for separation of church and state" or something like that (the "liberal")

Then they launched into the debate over Intelligent Design.

This whole debate started long ago (some would say thousands of years ago with Cicero's "Watchmaker analogy." (Which basically says that if one were walking along the beach and came upon a fully-functional pocket watch lying in the sand, think that it just came about entirely by chance [and thus even natural selection it is argued])

Ok, so back to the debate: On the right you had a "conservative Christian" who was arguing for intelligent design from the perspective that "God" created the world. And on the left you had this guy that was over and over saying that the "theory" of Intelligent Design isn't scientific, and that it was religion.

What struck me was this:

While the "liberal" was talking he was bringing up points (against ID) such as:
- We don't have time to try and figure out if ID is right, there are too many other important issues to be discovered in science right now.
- What will this "open the door" for in the future? Religion being taught in schools?!
- ID isn't scientific.

The conservative kept playing right into all his traps, even expressing his own "beliefs" about what an intelligent designer might be ("God") and saying that ID should be taught in schools because lots of people believe that way in the U.S. Then, later he actually defended Jerry Falwell as being non-political and "good."

I was about to pull my hair out.

I don't feel threatened by Intelligent Design; because if you read about it you will see that intelligent design has absolutely nothing to do with "God." Intelligent design is NOT a "new" argument, this is stuff that has been around for a very long time, and the principals that it is based upon are completely valid within the scientific community in most cases.

Take for instance in archeology, when you come across a stone that is oddly shaped. Scientists use well accepted scientific methods to determine if the rock was naturally "carved" that way, or if an external force (intentional or non-intentional) caused the rock to be carved that way. When it comes to things like this, the pyramids, stonehenge etc, it's relatively easy for us to determine these things probably did not happen "naturally", but that some external cause is responsible (humans in this case.) Intelligent Design theory simply applies well settled scientific method in biology, specifically molecular biology, and comes to the conclusion that Darwinian natural selection does not adequately describe the specified complexity exibihited at this level. ID goes on to say that the specified complexity we observe is best and most simply described by some external cause (intentional or non-intentional.)

Ok here is what is upsetting to me. First, ID does not, nor has it ever as I understand it, tried to prove there is a "God." It only evaluates the data, and applies a non-Darwinian method, and comes to a different answer. Christians are going crazy trying to make the irrational and illogical leap that this means "God" exists. NO IT DOESN'T. Even if ID is "correct" the external cause could have been intentional, or NON-intentional. This is just pure manipulation, and I don't stand for it.

But on the other side you have these "liberals" who are doing the SAME thing. They are saying that ID is "religion" and "all about God." It's NOT about God, you are LEGITIMIZING THE CONSERVATIVES POSITION WHEN YOU SAY THAT! It is NOT about God. For all we know the "intelligent designer" could have been a UFO traveling by and the drivers needed to take a load off and shat on earth before speeding away to another dimmension. ID does NOT disagree with "evolution" entirely per-se, it just disagrees with Darwinian evolution as it relates to the "origin" of species, saying that natural selection cannot account for the specified complexity at the cellular level. Darwinian approaches break down at this level (aparently.) They are just saying that there was an external cause that cannot, and is not currently explained by evolution.

Anyway. I wanted to call in and just tell that liberal guy that he's really a conservative after hearing him say "we don't have time for this" and "what will this open the door to." This is the same thing conservatives say. "We don't have time for people to decide to be a democracy, we need to force it." And "oh my, can you imagine what will happen if we allow gays to marry, they'll want to marry animals next." This is pure fear-mongering and manipulation and I'm tired of it from both "sides."

I'm against Christians trying to push ID as an agenda into public schools to try and get creation taught. But I'm EQUALLY against scientists who write off the entire ID theory as "religion" that's pure dogma on BOTH their parts. I don't "believe" in evolution, and I neither do I think Intelligent Design solves the problem, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater on both of them. Is there no such thing as non-partisan discussion anymore? Everything seems to be either the "Christians" are hjacking the nation, or the "Liberals" are hijacking our morals. I'm wondering if there's anyone else who isn't afraid to just say "I don't know - but let's talk about it." It's like we're afraid if we don't pretend to have all the answers for our kids in school, or in our own lives that we're somehow weak or something. I don't know - now I'm just rambling.

Anyone else thought about this?

zeno

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Evolutionisms in Creationisms.
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2005, 03:15:10 PM »
A most excellent post merm.

There are many theories of evolution just as there are many theories of creationsism, for example:

A says: Jehovah created this.

B says: No, Baal created that.

C says: You're both wrong, a dual entity Ahuramazda/Ahrimanes in constant flux creates and destroys both of them.

or,

A states: Survival through competition.

B states: No, survival of species through symbiosis.

C states: No, recombinant genetic material is totally random.

ad infinitum...

What I think that this so-called "debate" and many debates boil down to is this...

There are two functions of every human brain, i.e.

The Thinker,
and
The Prover.

It is the Thinker's job to think up ideas no matter how irrational, rational or outlandish, in order to better understand the chaos of sense impressions which we can for the moment call "reality".
It is the Prover's job to find evidence in support of and to either manipulate or eliminate evidence that is contrary to what the thinker thinks.

Add to this the emotional component of intellectual "territory" and how passionately world paradigms are defended and/or promulgated, then we can see two separate schools of "thinkers" using the same datum as Proof positive that conforms to one another's agenda of what is and what should be "correct", no matter how diverse or diametrically opposed they be.
If one side gains the upper hand in the assimilation of an idea then that idea is most summarily (and easily) rejected by the opponent.

The possibilty that the datum may not conform to either paradigm or may support a third or fourth paradigm or even by it's nature not lend itself to conformity to ANY paradigm (as yet thought up of) holds no interest for the battling entities in question.

I have to think about this topic deeper.  It is a problem that has been around for quite a long while, but many problems do have a synthesising solution, in my,  maybe overoptimistic belief.

----zeno

P.S.: Add to this quagmire that "datums" for all intents and purposes are effectively (to us at any rate, at this moment in temporal flux) infinite in number, to prove anything or to graduate any hypothesis/theory into absolute and all encompassing Law, is imho, a futile excercise at best.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Each of us
A cell of awareness
Imperfect and incomplete
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt
That’s far too fleet..."

----Peart, Lee & Lifeson

Telesphoros

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natural science
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2005, 05:15:41 PM »
I propose the problem exists in the method of delivery.  It is the medium and format which define how the problem is presented and debated.  In the mentioned format, there is a limited time frame for two sides to present their ideas much like a debate that has set rules.

There is no real intent to explore issues as much as there is an interest in entertaining an audience in the most sensational way possible.  Tune out I say!  There must be better ways to exchange ideas and explore concepts.

To wit.  Why couldn't God just be the "watchmaker" who wound it all up and let it go based on any given set of rules?  Perhaps he even threw in some interesting scientific roadblocks just to trip up the unfaithful.

zeno

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Manipulated Media
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2005, 10:08:59 PM »
It could be said that those who control the means of production also set the parameters by which the products themselves are presented . Now I'm sounding like some kind of communist, "Grrrrrr" :-)

In the present state of corporate controlled media, ratings and/or agendas are king.  But C-Span? I empathize with merm's frustration.  Many a night I remember falling asleep to C-Span basking in the comfortable knowledge that what I was getting subliminally injected into the subcortical arcitecture of my brain was the filming and sounds of an event being portrayed without comment for a good majority of the time. A way to circumvent this "objectivity" is to change the fora themselves.  Maybe, ever so subtlely at first....

then........

WHAMO! Polarized "Debate"

Ratings!!

ENTERattainment!!! = $Money.

No station is immune, no forum uncompromisable, no human being unbreakable. Apply this methodology to a political debate like ah, let's say for example, a Presidential debate, and the results can be something quite frightening.

And that is why we have to "tune out" as Telesphoros so succinctly stated, defy the label of "ideal consumer" that has been thrust upon us and either find or make our own Alternative Media, and disassociate ourselves from this sick system. Not that I advise ignoring it altogether, just looking (or not) at it from another perspective. I still watch FOX.

NWI (News World International) coverage in America,
http://www.nwitv.com/
Requiescat In Pace.

zeno :cry:

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-Can an omnipotent god create a stone that even He could not lift?

zeno

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Tees
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2005, 05:45:37 PM »
C0ntent-Free Management System IO

Offline enigmacat

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Political Discussion
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2005, 11:45:06 PM »
i have been silent because i have been in a very different part of the united states without internet access for several days.

and i am not going to join the discussion right now because my computer screen isn't allowing me to read the posts all the way through without scrolling back and forth horizontally!
except to say:
i think what we have here is a perfect plot:  screw the people and bury it in tiny print and twisted language in a few hundred pages of contract and hand them the pen and say "of course it's a democracy!  aren't you proud of your freedoms?"  

i'm in a cynical mood tonight.  i could use some tea. or beer.  hmm, beer.

zeno

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To war or not to war...
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2005, 02:32:41 AM »
...that is the question.

It first dawned on me last night when I was allegedly getting intoxicated with some friends, that there are in fact some people that do indeed support the war in Iraq.
On further investigation and questioning I was led to believe that the solution for all our global nightmares and potential (future) terrorist actions was really in fact quite simple.
And when I disagreed his girlfriend chimed in "It's about making the world safer for you and for me".  She seemed quite optimistic judging by her reassuring smile and enthusiasm.
Okay...

Me: What do you propose to do about the war in Iraq?
Should the troops stay there or should we bring them back home in case
something should happen with North Korea, or Iran?

Other: You really want to know?

Me: Yes, I'm curious.

Other: Something along the lines of Hiroshima.

Me: You mean dropping the atom bomb on Iraq?

Other: Yes, put an end to it for once and for all.

Me: Yea,....uh, that's well and good, but don't you think that by dropping an atom bomb on a country no matter how deserving that they may be that that solution will have repurcussions for us as well... as in nuclear fallout? spreading to the U.S. and the rest of the world..."

This conversation continued, and I must admit that at every point I was counterpointed, all the while being reassured that I was a "good guy". In fact, if I hadn't of been so brave and forthcoming I do believe that I would of been intimidated by this guy.
He was big.
He was noble.
A firefighter by trade.
And he supported Bush.

Well, I'm quite the non-partisan liberal.
And I couldn't argue with a firefighter, especially one who had lost so many friends and dear family members in the "tragedy" of 9/11, which he didn't.  But I did notice one small thing, however.

He didn't seem to care that Bin Ladin and most of the hijackers were
Saudi.
He didn't seem to care that Iraq had no WMDs.  As far as he and his girlfriend were concerned they (Iraq) supported the attacks because they were Muslim and didn't like America anyway:. therefore they were responsible, and deserving of extermination.  Yes..."EXTERMINATION."
He never heard of Carlyle Group or Haliburton.
Apparently never heard of Iran Contra or Ollie North,
And I wasn't about to go into my Lee Harvey Oswald rant,
Well,... that would make make look just plain stupid.

He thought that if Iran, North Korea and the People's Republic of China (all having or soon to have nuclear capability) were to rise up and declare war on the U.S., all together, and in tandem, that "We'd be able to take care of them too. We have plenty of people for that." endquote.

Well, I went home a little more (alledgedly) drunk than usual, feeling a little less "safe" and frankly not giving a damn, a little more alienated, a little more displaced, and quite frankly, a little more depressed than usual.

Hopefully, I'll wake up tomorrow having forgot that this enlightened conversation ever took place.

----zeno.

zeno

  • Guest
RE: What is happening as of this moment as we read and speak
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2005, 02:41:57 AM »
@ enigmacat.

I'm so glad that you decided to contribute to this little discussion.
And,
I don't think you're being cynical by understanding the standard operating procedures in proper business practices of reading between the lines and the ever so small ubiquitous print. Well, that's just being realistic, not cynical at all.

Beer sounds good, but tea can be a little better for you if you have the heart for it <chagrin>

God knows, now I don't :cry:
& as of this moment quite drunk.  :cry:

May we meet amidst better times than these,
----zeno.

zeno

  • Guest
Stop the Killing ----A sign in front of Stockwell Station
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2005, 12:05:00 PM »
I got this off of http://www.patriotwatch.org/

[QUOTE:

Brazilian Man Did not Run, Was not Wearing a Heavy Coat

A while back I posted on the tragedy of the Brazilian man gunned down by British authorities. I asked what if this was your father, brother, son? Someone posted a comment and said my son would never run from the police. Well he didn't. The truth is coming out. "Jean Charles de Menesez "wasn't wearing a heavy jacket. He used his card to get into the station. He didn't vault the barrier. And now police say there are no CCTV pictures to reveal the truth".

So what happened?

Link via Metafilter
http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/44268

ENDQUOTE]

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---zeno

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"As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." Justice William O. Douglas


 

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