Saturday, September 02, 2006

In The Crucible

I am preparing to cast my version of the *Crucible* - and launch myself on two and a half months of what counts for work in my life. It is challenging to keeping a cast of teenagers focused on a play – to get them to do their best through readings and memorization and character development, to get them to give their best through night after night of repetitive performance. But it is my hope that the message of this play, and this day, will steal us all for the challenge; and that those who come to see our offering will use it for a moment of contemplation, a point of reference in a world gone mad. Thus I seek to do my part.

In the last tragic moments of the play John Proctor seeks to save his life by confessing to the foolish charges pushed on him by a bunch of screaming girls and the mindless superstition of a fanatic religious cult. Read with me the last few lines of Aruthur Miller's *The Crucible:

DANFORTH: Come, then, sign your testimony. Give it to him. Come, man sign it.

PROCTOR: You have all witnessed it – it is enough.

DANFORTH: You will not sign it?

PROCTOR: You have all witnessed it; what more is needed?

DANFORTH; Do you sport with me? You will sign your name or it is no confession, Mister!

(His breast heaving with agonized breathing, Proctor now lays the paper down and signs his name.)

Parris: Praise be to the Lord!

(Proctor has just finished signing when Danforth reaches for the paper. But Proctor snatches it up, and now a wild terror is rising in him, and a boundless anger.)

DANFORTH: If you please, sir.

PROCTOR: No.

DANFORTH: Mr. Proctor, I must have—

PROCTOR: No, no. I have signed it. You have seen me. It is done! You have no need for this.

PARRIS: Proctor, the village must have proof that—

PROCTOR: Damn the village! I confess to God, and God has seen my name on this! It is enough!

DANFORTH: No, sir, it is—

PROCTOR: You came to save my soul, did you not? Here! I have confessed myself; it is enough!

DANFORTH: You have not con—

PROCTOR: I have confessed myself! Is there no good penitence but it be public? God does not need my name nailed upon the church! God sees my name; God knows how black my sins are! It is enough!

DANFORTH: Mr. Proctor—

PROCTOR: You will not use me! I am no Sarah Good or Tiuba [think France and Spain, who offer obeisance to Terror], I am John Proctor! You will not use me! It is no part of salvation that you should use me!

DANFORTH: I do not wish to—

PROCTOR: I have three children—how may I teach them to walk like men in the world, and I sold my friends?

DANFROTH: You have not sold your friends—

PROCTOR: Beguile me not! I blacken all of them when this is nailed to the church the very day they hang for silence!

DANFORTH: Mr. Proctor, I must have good and legal proof that you—

PROCTOR: You are the high court, your word is good enough! Tell them I confessed myself; say Proctor broke his knees and wept like a woman; say what you will, but my name cannot—

DANFORTH: It is the same, is it not? If I report it or you sign to it?

PROCTOR: No, it is not the same! What others say and what I sign to is not the same!

DANFORTH: Why? Do you mean to deny this confession when you are free?

PORCTOR: I mean to deny nothing!

DANFORTH: Then explain to me, Mr. Proctor, why you will not let—

PROCTOR: Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!

DANFORTH: Is that document a lie? If it is a lie I will not accept it! What say you? I will not deal in lies, Mister! You will give me your honest confession in my hand, or I cannot keep you from the rope. Which way do you go, Mister?

(His breast heaving, his eyes staring, Proctor tears the paper and crumples it, and he is weeping in fury, but erect.)

DANFORTH: Marshal!

PARRIS: Proctor, Proctor!

HALE: Man, you will hang! You cannot!

PROCTOR: I can. And there’s your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs. (Elizabeth, in a burst of terror rushes to him and weeps against his hand.) Give them no tear! Tears pleasure them! Show honor now, show a stony heart and sink them with it! (He has lifted her, and kisses her now with great passion.)

REBECCA: Let you fear nothing! Another judgment waits us all!

DANFORTH: Hang them high over the town! Who weeps for these, weeps for corruption!



Now a fanatic religious cult has shown their true intent with us. Today, Saturday, September 02, 2006 the Islamic-Nazis call on all Americans to confess to the truth of Islam or die. We stand before the “judgment bar of terror”. In the days to come Nancy Pelosi and Harry Read will coax us to sign away the truth for the promise of peace. What proofs will al-Zawahri demand of our submission? Such confession may well be easy for the relativists among us – but how for those who love the truth!

What will be the last tragic lines in the story of the West? Where will we stand on that day, when the terrorists come to use us? Will we be ruled by our reason or by our fears? Will we fight or give them the pleasure of our tears?”

133 comments:

MindMechanic said...

"Instead of killing yourself for Bush ... why not surrender to the truth (of Islam), escape from the unbelieving army and join the winning side. Time is running out so make the right choice before it's too late,"

Liberals will respond to this by saying "yeah...you are killing yourself for Bush!" They will completely ignore the impact in "surrender to the truth before it is too late"

"It is time for the unbelievers to discard these incoherent and illogical beliefs," he said. "Isn't it the time for the Christians, Jews, Buddhists and atheists to cast off the cloak of the spiritual darkness which enshrouds them and emerge into the light of Islam?"

Liberals will revel in the criticism of religiosity and will ignore the very real threat that Islamist fundamentalists believe that ALL 'non-believers' are subject to convert or die philosophies. They will also ignore every execution of muslim men women and children around the world every day...people seen only as pawns to be used to bring about a greater good.

"It is time for the unbelievers to discard these incoherent and illogical beliefs," he said. "We invite all Americans and other unbelievers to Islam, wherever they are."

The 'invitation' to convert is no invitation. To a fundamental extremist...they believe they are justified in executing ANYONE so long as it brings about the conversion of the world not just to Islam but to the extremist religion of Sharia law.

This is one of those positions that should be EASY for all sides to stand united on.

Anonymous said...

vegimatic here,

I just returned from a week in north eastern Canada, a bastion of socialism in north America.

The news of the day on several days was the loss of several Canadian Soldiers in Afganistan. The news media handled the news with dignity showing relatives talking about the value to the world of the loss of their loved one.

It was amazingly different than the approach the media takes in this country. I guess they just don't hate Bush enough.

The second story of interest is that the government of Canada is trying to start a 2 tiered healthcare system to meet the needs of their countrymen. The first tier is socialized medicine, the second is private. It seems you can't get to a specialist in a timely fashion and they are losing a good deal of their economy to the US healthcare system.

Good to see you made it back from camp Lysis.

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

"When I cite someone . . . you know it." -BM

. . . and when you DON'T cite "Monty Python" we WONT. Thank you Lysis for pointing out that BM likes to talk the talk; but refuses to walk the walk.

"I am looking for honest and open discussion -- I just get nyah, nyah, you suck."

To be followed followed by a classic BM SUCKY!!!! HONEST????definition.

"A liberal is one who feels he knows better and therefore feels he(or government) is more capable of doing the thinking for other individuals."

Seems like THAT definition embraces a fairly hefty group of people -- the Islamo-facists, George Bush's Salt Lake City Speech, Ann Coulter, Lysis (he, like the others, even calls it TRUTH. Yourself, with, Shouldn't the government make ID part of the Public School Curriculum?

Just more TALK the TALK . . .!!!!

Lysis:
I DID post the answer to the Tautology argument. For MY arguments there has been NO response.

Anonymous said...

BM
"To feel he/she knows better" is a characteristic of everyone who posts on this Blog . . . if EVERYONE is a LIBERAL then NO-ONE is!!!!

Reach Upward said...

Many years ago I visited a large stone cross that was nearly a millennium old. It was said to be a monument to a canonized saint who used force and violence to achieve nationwide conversion to Christianity in his country. I wonder how ‘converted’ his countrymen were. He himself chose a pagan burial. And I still note numerous pagan customs in the country’s culture today, though they insist they are a ‘Christian’ nation, as noted by the cross on their national flag.

While living in this country, I knew two young men from the Middle East that had willingly converted to Christianity. They left to spend a few weeks in their native country, but only one returned. He reported that his friend’s family, upon learning that he had converted from Islam, turned him over to the religious police, who had him beheaded in the public square, because they believed that once having accepted Islam, leaving the religion is a capital crime.

A couple of weeks ago, two kidnapped Western journalists were granted freedom by their extremist captors after converting to Islam at the point of a gun. I wonder how ‘converted’ they feel today.

The point is that religious extremism enforced by violence in any day, age or place violates intrinsic morality. This is why people from nearly all cultures can experience deep and poignant feelings when watching the final scene of the Crucible.

The fact that this type of extreme intolerance exists today raises the question of how we should deal with it. Somehow I doubt that most people upon watching the closing scene of the Crucible would consider appeasement or isolationism appropriate courses of action.

Lysis said...

Brainmechanic:

Excellent quotes from the Islamic nuts – don’t worry we all see the quotation marks and where the words came from.

Vegimatic:

Great to here from you – I was able to use your comments on Canadian health care in my Civics class today. Nice to have you back.

Flaccid:

To your pretended answer to one of my ten questions – let us review. From the post above:

“ON HER SECOND POINT:

On pg 212 Coulter claims that “Survival of the Fittest is a tautology. “Through the process of natural selection, the “Fittest survive. Who are the “fittest”? The ones who survive! Why look – it happens every time! The “survival of the fittest” would be a joke if it weren’t part of the belief system of a fanatical cult infesting the Scientific Community.

Question to Flaccid: Would you please show how Survival of the Fittest is NOT a tautology?”


Flaccid, your supposed answer is to

“Claim:
"Natural selection, or "survival of the fittest" is tautologous because it says that the fittest individuals leave the most offspring.

[Not even my question, but let’s try it anyway.]

Response:
1. Survival of the fittest is a poor way to think about evolution. Darwin himself did not use the phrase in the first edition of *Origin of Species*. What Darwin said is that heritable variations lead to different reproductive success. This is not circular or tautologous. It is a prediction that can be, and has been, experimentally verified.

2. The phrase cannot be a tautology it is not trivially true. Yet there have been theories proposing that the fittest individuals perish:”

Your first response is irrelevant as the question specifically asks you show who “survival of the fittest” is not a tautology. Claiming Darwin didn’t say is doesn’t answer the question.

Your second response is gibberish. How do I assert that it is not trivial? What can be more trivial? “the “Fittest survive. Who are the “fittest”? The ones who survive! Why look – it happens every time!”; to quote Coulter. You, Flaccid, have given none of the experimentally verification which you claim exists, which might have provided more than a trivial and failed answer to my questions; all ten of which still stand unanswered by you.

Reach Upward:

Indeed appeasement and isolationism are the exact opposite considerations to the ones I hope to stir in the minds off all who participate in or attend our play this year.

That there are still people in the world who will kill to enforce their beliefs proves that there are still beliefs in the world which are not true. Reason does not require mass murder. Mao, Stalin, and now bin Laudin prove the falseness of their positions, as did Judge Danforth, when they can only maintain them by murder.

Anonymous said...

Darwin didn't use the phrase Survival of the Fittest in the Origin -- REAL scientist would say "heritable variations lead to different reproductive success."
Scheming "wannabe scientists" attack the meaningless nonscientific term "survival of the fittest" as a way to attack Science -- it is clear what the REAL Lysis' anti-scientific agenda is.

Mr. flatulence needs to *spew* HIS DATA and EXPERIMENTS in a SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL. Then Lysis would experience the REAL workings of the scientific method, and the REAL SCIENTISTS who wield it could free humanity from the Coulter deluded "fanatical cult" that is from without -- not within!!!!

I know -- there is NO SCIENTIFIC data at all and NONE will be forth coming -- EVER!!!!

Cameron said...

Lysis,

"That there are still people in the world who will kill to enforce their beliefs proves that there are still beliefs in the world which are not true."

Are you saying that Islam is false based on some Muslims enforcing it thru terrorism?

Reach,

"Somehow I doubt that most people upon watching the closing scene of the Crucible would consider appeasement or isolationism appropriate courses of action."

In your opinion, what is an appropriate course of action?

Anon,

"Darwin didn't use the phrase Survival of the Fittest in the Origin -- REAL scientist would say "heritable variations lead to different reproductive success."

From where did the phrase "survival of the fittest" come? How does it differ from "heritable variations lead to different reproductive success"?

I'm not arguing a position here, as I really don't have one on this topic yet. So everyone please inform away...

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

“These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with reproduction: Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life and from use and disuse: a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a STRUGGLE FOR LIFE, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the EXTICTION OF LESS-IMPROVED FORMS. Thus from the WAR OF NATURE, from famine and death, the most exalted object of which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is a grandeur I this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed BY THE CREATOR into a few forms or into one; . . . from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” (Darwin - *The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection*)

Mince words and call names all you want – a “real scientist” would prove “heritable variations leading to different reproductive success” by giving empirically demonstrable evidence as to why the tortes survived while a tyrannosaurus did not, why a Mammoth was less capable of reproducing that a mole-rat.

Coulter gave you scientists and journals and books supporting her positions – you have given us nothing but irrelevant worlds. As the folks of Salem should have said to the screaming girls - Give us evidence or give us your apology.

Cameron:

I, like Hugo’s Jean Valjean, find myself “for Religion, but against religions.” I am saying unequivocally that any religion, Islamic, Christian, or other; that says it is OK to kill people who refuse to believe in it, IS FALSE! Find me a Muslim or a Christian or any other believer who will present reason to support his faith and I will be glad to give him a chance to convert me, but any belief system that must rely on murder as a conversion tactic is false!!!!

Anonymous said...

Cameron:
I assume you were a student in one of Lysis' "fantasy" classes and that you received only his expurgated "Coulterized" version of evolutionistic principles.

"The British economist Herbert Spencer is often credited with introducing the phrase "survival of the fittest": he did not use the phrase until after reading Darwin"s Origin; ie, "This survival of the fittest, which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called 'natural selection', or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.
Darwin agreed with Alfred Russel Wallace that this phrase avoided the troublesome anthropomorphism of "selecting" though it "lost the analogy between nature's selection and the fanciers"

REAL evolutionary biologists/botanists (Lysis you may sit down) criticize how the term is used by NON-scientists and the connotations that have grown around the term in popular culture. The phrase also does not help in conveying the complex nature of natural selection that modern (REAL) biologists prefer, and now almost exclusively use, the term natural selection. Indeed, in modern (REAL) biology, the term fitness measures reproductive success and is not explicit about the specific ways in which organisms can be "fit" as in " having phenotypic characteristics which enhance survival and reproduction"

"Survival of the fittest is sometimes claimed to be a tautology.

However this criticism fails to consider that the expression "survival of the fittest" when taken out of context, is actually a very iNCOMPLETE account of Darwinian evolution. The reason is that this expression does not mention a key requrement for Darwinian evolutonl, namely the requirement of HERITABILITY. Darwin's mechanism of evolution through natural selection implies that HERITABLE variations lead to differential reproductive succcess, and therefore (precisely because they are heritable) become over-represented in the next generation. If the characters which lead to different reproductive success are not heritable, than no meaningful evolution will occur, "survival of the fittest" or not. In other words, Darwinian evolution by natural seletion does not simply state that "survivors survive" or "reproducers reproduce";rather, it states that . . .

"survivors survive, reproduce and therefore propagate any heritable characters which have affected their survival and reproductive success" (Something Lysis never informs his students; especially when he has a "half-vast" bias that he can demagogue -- another word for flatulate!!!!)

When the FULL PICTURE is considered, no tautology exists; the complete mechanism leading for heritable fitness-impacting differences, through differential reproductive success ("survival of the fittest"), to actual adaptive evolution (change in the makeup of lineages toward better adaptation) is a valid, informative reasoning, hinging on the TESTABLE TESTABLE TESTABLE hypothesis that such fitness-impacting heritable variations actualy exist."
(Sorry about the redundancy, but Lysis always leaves out THAT word!!!!)"

Anonymous said...

-Darwin's Untimely Burial by Stephen J. Gould

-Evolution and Philosophy: A Good Tautology is Hard to Find: John Wilkins.

Trace Darwin's early "belief in God" to his AGNOSTICISM and the rejection of "Creationism" through his other published work.

More "half-vast" dis-information for us Lysis?

Look up Wikepedia and Darwin's life and "evolution" of his religious beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Lysis:
Provide experiments and data and verifiable testable results to support yours and Coulter's "anti-scientific" conclusions.

OR

Stop "screaming and threatening to fly out a window" as REAL SCIENTISTS disclaim you and the Coulter sect -- not very nice things do the GREAT MAJORITY of REAL scientist have to say!!!!

Lysis said...

Anonymous said...
Lysis:
Provide experiments and data and verifiable testable results to support yours and Coulter's "anti-scientific" conclusions.
Here is some scientifically supported and verifiable data based on the experiments and study of eminent scientists which Coulter provided for you last spring. I see you have yet to read them. This is particularly troubling since I provided them to you in last weeks discussion.

On pgs. 203 – 204 Coulter presents the arguments of Michael Behe, Lehigh University biochemist as presented in his book, *Darwin’s Black Box*. (By the way Flaccid – calling Behe names will not refute his arguments.) Remember these are Behe’s arguments, not Coulter’s. Behe produced various “irreducibly complex” mechanisms, of which there are thousands – complex cellular structures, blood-clotting mechanisms, and the eye among others. A bacterial motor, called a flagellum, depends on coordinated interactions of 30 – 40 complex protein parts. The absence of almost any one of the parts would render the flagellum useless. An animal cell’s whip like oar, called a cilium, is composed of about 200 protein parts. Behe compared these cell parts to a simple mousetrap, with far fewer necessary components than a cilium or flagellum. Though there are only a few parts to a mousetrap, all of them have to be working together at one time for a contraption to serve any function whatsoever. If one of the parts is missing, Behe says, you don’t get a mousetrap that catches only half as many mice: you don’t get a mousetrap at all. Behe then demonstrated that it is a mathematical impossibility for all 30 parts of the flagellum (or 200 part of the cilium) to have been brought together by the “numerous, successive, slight modifications” of natural selection.”

On pgs 208 Coulter debunks an attack on Behe by [Richard] Dawkins in his book *River Out of Eden*. In the book Dawkins claims that there are computer simulations of evolving eyes. But Coulter then references David Berlinski in “Commentary” magazine, quoted by Tom Bethell in *The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science*: “This notion that there is somewhere a computer model of the evolutionary development of the eye is an urban myth. Such a model does not exist. . . The senior author of the study on which Dawkins based his claim – Dan E. Nilsson – has explicitly rejected the idea that his laboratory ever produced a computer simulation of the eye’s development.”

On pgs 210 – 211 Least her readers (something that Flaccid obviously is not) should think that Coulter only has one scientist in her corner, she goes on to reference Cambridge astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle, (please examine his scientific awards on pg 210) and Chandra Wickramasinghe (who holds the highest doctorate –Sc.D - from the University of Cambridge and is a professor of applied mathematics and astronomy at Cardiff University of Wales, and director of the Cardiff Center for Astrobiology.) “Hoyle ran the numbers to determine the mathematical probability of the basic enzymes of life arising by random processes. They concluded that the odds were 1 to 1 followed by 40,000 zeroes, or ‘so utterly minuscule” as to make Darwin’s’ theory of evolution absurd. Hoyle said a “common sense interpretation of the facts” is that “a super intellect has monkyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.”

On Pg 211 Coulter quotes Francis Crick, winner of the Nobel prize for his co discovery of DNA. [Crick] also realized that the spontaneous evolution of life could not be reconciled with the facts. As he said, “The probability of life originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd.”

On pgs 213 – 214 Coulter argues that survival of the fittest can’t be observed or empirically tested in the laboratory. Scientist bread into fruit flies an obviously advantages trait – avoidance to eating poison – but guess what, “the fruit flies bred to avoid eating poison did not survive. They died out while the original dumb fruit flies with no aversion to eating poison survived to reproduce. Thus, the scientists concluded: Stupid is more fit. As the headline in the “New Scientist” put it. “Cleverness May Carry Survival Costs.” Yes, it’s been observed for centuries that it’s the truly stupid who are the most successful, live the longest, are the happiest, the wealthiest, them most desirable, and so on. Let’s face it: It’s the stupid who have the inside track in this world. This is what’s known as “A Theory Incapable of Disproof.” (Or perhaps, “A Theory Born off Self-Interest.”) The fruit fly experiment is now cited as scientific proof of evolution. So whenever you hear about the “Overwhelming scientific evidence of evolution.” Remember that evolutionists have put the fruit fly poison-eating experiment in their “win” column.

On pg 215 – 220 Coulter points out that Darwin hoped that the Fossil Record would provide evidence of the gradual evolution of species but “In 1979, David Raup, a geologist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, described the problem this way:

“The evidence we find in the geologic record is not nearly as compatible with darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be. Darwin was completely aware of this. He was embarrassed by the fossil record because it didn’t look the way he predicted it would and, as a result, he devoted a long section of his *Origin of Species* to an attempt to explain and rationalize the differences. There were several problems, but the principal one was that the geologic record did not then and still dose not yield a finely graduated chain of slow and progressive evolution. . . We are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transitions that we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information – what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic.”

Coulter Quotes Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould – a passionate defender of evolution - as having “Called the “extreme rarity” of transitional animals the “Trade secret of paleontology.” He said, “The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of the branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. And evolutionary biologist Robert Carroll admits, “Very few intermediates between groups are known for the fossil record.”

As I have pointed out “these experiments and data and verifiable testable results to support” Coulters position are in the first 20 pages of her 81 page evisceration of Darwin.

Flaccid: I asked you specific questions regarding each and every one of the conclusions of these scientists, their experiments, and their studies – you have answered none.

I would post more of Coulters book – but why should I expect you to read those facts when you have empirically demonstrated that you have either not read or are not capable of understanding the data presented in the last post? You become more and more like the screaming children in Miller’s play. You have posted three times since 3:00 this afternoon and have not even tried to answer one question. You have not answered Cameron’s questions (Your double talk does nothing to clarify any difference between your “real scientific” gibberish and Spencer’s eager application of Darwin to Eugenics.) or mine. Furthermore you have not asked honest questions of your own.

Lysis said...

I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t resist this:

Flaccid:

You actually passed up direct quotes from Darwin; including his claim that mutation comes from “the conditions of life and from use and disuse” and his clearly stated position that the laws of the “plan” were “breathed BY THE CREATOR into a few forms or into one”.

Instead you actually suggest we check out Wikepedia???

Your blind faith in Darwin to the exclusion of any questions about his science or his evidence is as amusing as your “Confidence” in Wikepedia!

Rumpole said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

You attributed my comments on the definition of a liberal to BrainMechanic. I will still be happy to answer.

You implied that you wanted to know my definition of liberal. I gave it to you. I make no apology for that definition. Everything you have posted since (see below) has only reinforced the validity of my definition. How about your definition of a liberal? Give it to me, as I did for you, in one sentence. Then, if you want to expound, please do so.

As to your claim, “To feel he/she knows better" is a characteristic of everyone who posts on this Blog . . .”, I can’t speak for everyone, only for myself. I certainly do disagree with the liberal approach. If I disagree, does that mean to you that I think I know better?

Are you coming close to tautology?

You post, “REAL evolutionary biologists/botanists (Lysis you may sit down) criticize how the term is used by NON-scientists and the connotations that have grown around the term in popular culture. The phrase also does not help in conveying the complex nature of natural selection that modern (REAL) biologists prefer, and now almost exclusively use, the term natural selection. Indeed, in modern (REAL) biology, the term fitness measures reproductive success and is not explicit about the specific ways in which organisms can be "fit" as in ", having phenotypic characteristics which enhance survival and reproduction"

Based on the above paragraph, it is not a stretch to infer that you believe the only people capable of commenting on evolution are those who you deem as real evolutionary biologists. Do you not teach your pupils to have a healthy skepticism? Should those students accept what you propose because it comes from “real” (as defined by you) experts, or even more dangerously, because it comes directly from you?

Additionally, you have given us another most excellent example of tautology! Real scientists are only those scientists who agree with you! Scientists who agree with you are the only real scientists! It’s a perfect circle that doesn’t contain a shred of evidence!

The words you write betray the image of enlightenment you try so desperately to portray.

MindMechanic said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MindMechanic said...

Anonymous...thanks for proving my point.

1-When I cite somone in a discussion it is ALMOST ALWAYS in quotes. My posting was not an ARGUMENT. It was a point...an observation

2-Anyone socially literate KNOWS a Monty Python skit when they see one. But again...

3-It was hardly an 'argument'...was it?

With ALL the things present for you to engage in an actual discussion instead of a mindless rant, THATS the best that you can do. Ive said it before and will no doubt say it again...pathetic. You could have engaged on any of the positions. You could have countered with discussion and fact as you understand it. You could have picked from a LARGE NUMBER of discussion arguments. and instead...well...you know...

Im curious...have you EVER bothered to read and study positions and presentations that dont ahppily coincide with your bias? Try it...it is very enlightening. For example...

Do you realize there ARE in fact MANY scholars that dispute evolution?

Do you realize that MANY scientists and meteorologists disagree with global warming (as an example)?

There in virtually Every discussions two real and valid points, and often many more. Its worth researching.

Another example...your "nylon bug" discussion. Have you read more than just the sites that say "look...prooof of evolution?" Many scientists refute the argumentas proof of evolution. Many point to the 47 different enzymes as proof that the theory of evolution AS WE KNOW IT could not explain the "nylon bug." Since you introduced it I have read best guess approximately 40 articles and found about as many theories for its existence. Most of the 'scientists' are at least honest...they cant explain it. Its not simple black and/or white.

Like I said...thanks for proving the point.

Cameron said...

Lysis,

I understand the point you're making, but many if not most religions, Islam and Christianity included, have had periods of time where Faith has been required at gunpoint. The play you are directing has Christians as its focal point. Does that mean Christianity is false? Or perhaps its interpretation by the few involved? Or just that specific religious sect within Christianity?

I guess the larger point/question I'm dwelling on is that of Islam's place in the world. Becuase of terrorism, there are many who believe it to be evil. Is it?

Anon,

Thanks for responding. I'm actually not a former student of Lysis's. I've never met anyone (to my knowledge anyway) that posts here. I stumbled across the blog and found it to be entertaining and often insightful.

I'm not sure if I totally understand your explanation though. From what I can tell, your major issue here is heritability. A particular trait that gives an organism an advantage over the rest of the population must be heritable in order for natural selection, and therefore evolution, to take place. Is that right?

But I still don't get how natural selection differs from survival of the fittest. I suppose survival of the fittest must not include genetics in its definition?

Either way, what you're saying is that evolution is the process whereby organisms equipped with better survival adaptations live longer and produce more offspring than others, thereby passing along those traits in increasingly larger numbers until the entire population has evolved.

Is that accurate?

Anonymous said...

BM

All the "ranting" about citation and sources began with YOU. YOU chose to buldoze over all MY arguments to "squeal" with delight about some citation error you had discovered in MY postings. Hmmmmmm

However, I soon discovered that YOUR citation standards are situational, ad hoc, and all your own -- (see last posting) that's OK by me in this blog, but I find your INCONSISTENCIES to be self-serving, hypocritical and deceitful!!!!

Your "Many scientist's believe . . . " observations are incredibly facile in their ignorance.

I do not care what any scientist BELIEVES -- I like to scrutinize the SCIENTIFIC PROOFS, EVIDENCE, DATA, METHODOLOGY and read the analysis of others, lest I become too soon a fawning over-credulous boob!!!! (see Pons and Fleishman -- Cold Fusion and the Scientific Method)

Yes, Google Pons and Fleishman and the Utah Legislature if you need examples of "boobs at work".

Warning -- do not Google "boobs at work"!!!!

Anonymous said...

Rump:
TRUE scientist are those who adhere scrupulously to the SCIENTIFIC METHOD and who also require this same STANDARD in all scientific discourse from other "scientists".

Sorry if you had the impression that a TRUE scientist had anything to do with MY beliefs or opinions -- you will have to consult Lysis for an explanation of THAT solipsistic tautology!!!!

In my "definition of liberal", besides one sentence, would you also like me to use each letter of the alphabet? Your defintion was meaningless, now you want to try mine? I try not to use the word, nor conservative either.

I think definitions are descriptive; I have the impression that you think definitions are prescriptive. It is such words as these that make you preconceive EVERYTHING I post -- hopefully, one day, you will tire of that zero-sum limitation!!!!

Reach Upward said...

Anonymous, thanks for the advice on Googling. Words do become very important when using a search engine.

Cameron, you asked what I thought the appropriate response to enforcing belief via violence/force should be, given that I argue that appeasement and isolationism are inappropriate responses. Indeed, I would argue that it is immoral to appease the perpetrators or to isolate oneself when one knows about and is able to do something about such a heinous injustice.

But developing a one-size-fits-all response is simply impossible. Any response must consider the nature of the threat, the priority of the threat (given that many such cases large and small exist and the reality of limited resources), the actual moral goal being sought, and the likelihood of success, among other factors.

The point is that something must be done that is calculated to stop the injustice and to render its perpetrators unable to repeat it. Precisely how to go about achieving this goal must necessarily be managed on a case by case basis.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...

I didnt question your "10 Questions" posted without source because it was an obvious and fairly well known internet posting (just like the Monty Python skit). I DID question your posting when 'you' made arguments. And of course...the obvious tipoff was due to the fact that ‘your’ posting actually CONTAINED arguments...albeit someone elses. Arguments that YOU parroted and made your own with your own comments. Arguments that YOU made without doing ANY research on your own-the same argument you (and your ghostwriter Mr Downward) make about the shoddy work of Ann Coulter.

But if it makes you feel better...I'll give you this one. I erred. I didnt cite Monty Python (MONTY FREAKIN PYTHON FOR CRYING OUT LOUD) when I posted a commentary about the tone of 'discussion' that too often occurs. You are right. I am wrong. I should have cited it.

As to your second ‘point’ re ‘belief.’ Where exactly do you think belief comes from? To botanist, biologists, microbiologists, chemists and all other scientists it comes from experimenting on theory and posting conclusions. “Our analysis of the data leads to the conclusion that it is probable…”

You are, BTW no different. You don’t KNOW, but you BELIEVE in the theory of evolution. I assume you do so because you have given it reasoned thought and have conducted exhaustive scientific research and NOT because you have simply read pro-evolution articles that support your ‘theory.’ But unless you have some scientific research that PROVES evolution as more than a theory, you simply ‘believe.’

Don’t worry…you arent alone. Let em give you a quote from a PROPONENT of evolution…

“The World Summit on Evolution, like most scientific conferences, revealed a science rich in history and tradition, data and theory, as well as controversy and debate. From this I conclude that the theory of evolution has never been stronger.”

Michael Shermer, Scientific American, Speaking at the 2005 World Summit on Evolution

Point-Notice the allowance that EVEN A PROPONENT of science and the theory…THEORY…of evolution allows for controversy and debate. Why? Because at its BEST, scientific research provides supporting or refuting data on the theory of evolution. It does not (or at least to this point has not yet) PROVE evolution. If it did, we would no longer be referring to it as a THEORY. Si?

truth to power said...

One of the reasons I sometimes have a hard time reading anonymous' posts is the misuse of current buzzwords. It's like reading a corporate mission statement. Can anybody here figure out what he thinks he means by "solipsistic tautology", "prescriptive definition", or "zero-sum"?

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya

Lysis said...

Cameron:

I agree with you entirely that at many times in history, people have done terrible things in the name of God and sighted scripture as defense of their murderous actions. For generations the Bible was used to defend slavery – just because the Bible is considered scripture by Christians does not mean that all who interpret it are TRUE Christians. I am suggesting that, as Jesus said – “by their fruits you shall know them.” To those who claim to prophesy in Jesus name – and then condone Slavery or Murder, I am confident that, given the chance, Jesus will say to them – “I never knew you!”

If Jesus is God, or if Allah rules the universe, I am sure either will be deeply troubled at the terrible things done in their name. That is why, in my belief system, all the teaching of a “religion” must meet the standard of Justice set forth by Cicero. They must be in accordance with the “Divine mind of Jupiter” (call it right reason), that universal and reasonable justice that is co-eternal with truth.

[That Flaccid will not question Darwin when Darwin’s own words are so clearly in contradiction to Flaccid’s positions is proof of that blindness. I know of a woman, who when shown the changes in the B of M concerning white and fair, looked at the two books in the hands of her nephew and said, “I am not seeing this”. Her blind faith was revealed and indicted. It is the same with Flaccid.]

If Christianity is “the true” faith and the Bible contradicts ancient Laws that are the common knowledge of all reasoning beings – be they men or gods – then we must assume that such portions of the Bible are corrupted, or that the interpretations placed on them by their readers are erroneous. The same would apply to the Koran or any other book or teaching. For this reason I believe that the purpose of man is to search out the truth and to avoid blind faith in scriptures or treatises, prophets or scientists.

At this time I agree with President Bush, those who murder in the name of Islam are corrupting a great religion. I would say the same for the screaming girls of Salem, who corrupted Christianity, with the help of unjust judges. Such corrupted religion cannot be true. I would say the same of the disciples of “science”, such as Flaccid, who scream vindictive against the questions of others but offer no “reason” for their faith. They mask their blind acceptance of things they do not understand by calling it “confidence” in science. However, until the Anonomy start killing those who disagree with them, I will not know they are wrong – I will just continue to ask them questions and wait for their answers.

I have already come to a position on murder – I have drawn a line, an absolute standard. Those who must push their beliefs by murder are pushing false beliefs – even if the core principles they hold are true, their injustice taints their position, and renders them false. Water laced with cyanide is poison even if the H2O came from the spring at Loll.

Cameron said...

Reach,

"Precisely how to go about achieving this goal must necessarily be managed on a case by case basis."

I'll buy that. But I don't think that the "American Public" does. What we hear is that the world is in chaos and we can't do anything about it because of our presence in Iraq. We have narrowed our range of possible actions against other threats, and some could (and do) argue that it has made the threats more threatening.

Lysis,

Thank you for a very well thought out reply. I appreciate your candor.

You speak of "Blind Faith". I wonder if it is as bad as you imply in every case? Are there no instances where faith must be blind?

Also, you speak of Anon's insistence in defending Evolution. Without personally having conducted the experiments, are we not all relying on faith when we site them? It seems similar to relying on Peter's writings of the Savior for a personal knowledge of His divinity.

While there are dissenters, it certainly seems that the great majority of scientists support evolution as the explanation to the origins of man. The question arises then, why do a majority of scientists believe in evolution? Should I, as a non-scientist and not having conducted the research studies myself, simply trust (ie. have faith in) the majority?

a quiet listener said...

on a side note... what will become of the steve erwin skit at camp i wonder? johnny will be crushed.

MindMechanic said...

Cameron,

In response...I only accept one thing on faith...I believe in God and that through Him all things are possible.

Everything else I question. I think thats a good thing. I question the theory of evolution. Always have. By asking questions and digging deeper I have a greater understanding of Darwin, of the early evolutionists, of the 'evolution' of the field, and of the theory. I dont pretend to KNOW if it is true or not and have said so on numerous occaisions.

I question the Big Bang theory. I think science does a pretty good of disproving the theory, but even if you accept the theory you also HAVE to accept the reality that you are accepting on faith that it was all just here waiting to happen.

I also dont know if ID has any play in the creation of man and the cosmos. The value I see in studying ID is there is SO MUCH that can be learned from it.

Whether people want to admit it or not, scientists study ID when they are studying theories. They are using existing knowledge and testing its application on how things work. Where they have holes they simply plug in quantum equations and keep going.

I dont think we will 'know' the answers to these questions. I dont think we have to know...but I do think the only way we can progress is to continue to ask questions.

BTW...the "you" in question is not anyone specifically...

Good post!

"The question arises then, why do a majority of scientists believe in evolution? Should I, as a non-scientist and not having conducted the research studies myself, simply trust (ie. have faith in) the majority?

Lysis said...

Cameron:

In your discussion with Reach Upward, I am glad to see that you stipulate that “we hear . . .” The truth is often far from what we are told by the biased media. I see the U.S. successes in Iraq – including the establishment of a majority supported constitutional democracy, the removal of Saddam, the stifling of a WMD program bent on evil that would make Iran’s present posturing look like child’s play, the extermination of multitudes of terrorists, and the development of an Iraqi army capable of self defense and challenging the power of Iran and the terror networks, as enormous strides forward in the war on terror. Those who have listened to President Bush’s speeches over the last three days have plenty of empirical proof of the successes of the War on Terror – and the advantages of fighting it on the central front, (so called by al Zawahiri as well as Bush), in Iraq. My point is that partisan politics and terrorist propaganda – which seem to go hand in hand on this front - are not the best sources for evaluating the success of American multi faceted response to terrorism.

As to your comments directed to me; I do not think blind faith is always bad. I think it is silly, but for a child to believe in Santa does little harm to the world. However when one’s blind faith allows for the overturn of reason it is detrimental to man’s search for truth, and when it allows for the abrogation of the rights or the destruction of the lives of others – it is “in every case” bad!

When an experiment is presented and reasonably explained, I do not think one’s faith is blind, but conditioned. All one needs to dispel such “conditional faith” is evidence to the contrary. My beef with Flaccid is his inability to put up any proof of his stand.

As for evolution, I too believe in evolution – I have maintained that from the first; it is just that Ann Coulter has dispelled my conditional faith in Darwin’s explanation of how it is accomplished. I see far less support for “Natural Selection” than I do for “Divine Direction”. [Though I stress that Darwin believed in both, at least at the time he wrote *Origin of the Species*] As for majority rule – the tyranny of the majority is even more repugnant than the tyranny of the one. I believe in the rule of Law – just law – based on truth. I will accept Peter, or at least consider him, until he demands the unreasonable. Had Peter, for example, continued to insist that only Jews could be loved of God, I would have found him as ridiculous as bin Laden. I have no faith in the majority, and little faith in the individual. I put my faith in reason.

A Quiet Listener:

I am also saddened by the death of Steve Erwin. I have not felt quite the same disappointment at a life cut short since the death of John Denver. We will have to wait for the pain to subside. I will consult with Jon T on how best to honor The Crock Hunter – by playfully mocking his greatness, or by assigning him to oblivion.

Brainmechanic;

Your point on following the majority seems to clarify my own.

Anonymous said...

Truth to Powder . . .

Misuse of certain "buzzwords"?

Prescriptive
Solipsistic
Tautology
Zero-sum

All of these words are in the dictionary -- I think the great threat you feel from them is your own ignorance.

Tautology was used and defined just recently by Lysis.

Solipsistic: A theory that the self can know only its self and that the self is the only existent thing.

A solipsistic tautology therefore is not only a statement that is true because it claims to be true but is also true just because "I" think its true!!!!

Zero-sum:
"A game or relationship in which a gain for one side entails a corresponding loss for the other side."

I accused Rump of "zero-sum' limitations because he would much rather slay his easily defeated "liberal" fantasy opponent "dragon" that he has crated for his ego, rather than acknowledge MY POSTS and POSITIONS that are right in front of him.

It's zero-sum because that way he makes for an easy kill every time!!!!

Prescriptive:
A defintion determined by long standing custom; ie, a correct or incorrect defintion as prescribed.

Descriptive:
A descriptive account of how the word is used by various peoples in various contexts without regard to proper and improper/ right wrong judgements.

Lesson OVER!!!!

-- Sheesh Lysis, didn't you teach these guys ANYTHING????

truth to power said...

Anonymous,

You just don't get it.
I wasn't saying I don't understand those words. I was saying you don't.
Since you misused each and every one of them, I stand by what I said.
You're not alone; abuses of both "solipsism" and "zero-sum" are extremely prevalent in current popular culture. Again, you sound like a corporate mission statement.

Your dictionary definitions fail to give you the context you need to understand how to use these words.

Now, obviously I'm just picking on your phraseology and your personal characteristics, and not arguing with your ideas. But this is no ad hominem. I'm not claiming your opinions are wrong, just the way you express them. You will become a better debater when you can stop being so emotional, and so silly.

Anonymous said...

Truth to Powder:

"Since you misused each and every one of them . . ."

What? Your dictionary says something different than mine? My sentences were ungrammatical? I didn't punctuate or spell correctly?


"I don't understand the words. . . "

Is this an accusation that you would care to back up with any responsible analysis or justification?

You're "picking on my phraseology and personal characteristics"?

Offer something more specific than, "I don't like you".

"This is no ad hominem . . ."????

Truly. It was more like a "drive by" than an actual man to man assault!!!!

Cameron said...

Anon,

Maybe it got lost in the shuffle of other comments, or maybe you're still working on a response, but I just wanted to repeat my summation of your earlier response to me and again ask for clarification:

"Either way, what you're saying is that evolution is the process whereby organisms equipped with better survival adaptations live longer and produce more offspring than others, thereby passing along those traits in increasingly larger numbers until the entire population has evolved.

Is that accurate?"

truth to power said...

anonymous:

A dictionary is not enough. Have you ever learned a second language? Come on, having a "definition" for a word is not enough to make sure you use it right. Look at babelfish's "translations".

Just say what you mean, using words you're familiar with. It's a good rule, and would be a great improvement over the "paradigm of synergy" we see in corporate mission statements.

When you coined the phrase "solipsistic tautology", it appeared as though you thought it already meant something. Had you given your definition at the time, you would have actually been making an argument, namely, that Lysis' (or Rumpole's, it's hard to tell who your target was) definition of truth is "that which I believe". It would have been a clever thing to say, too. Too bad you missed the opportunity.

As for "prescriptive" vs. "descriptive", you got it exactly backwards. Defining liberals by what they believe and do nowadays ("feels he knows better...") is descriptive, whereas Lysis for example clings to an archaic dictionary definition of the word and calls himself a liberal. Of course, those like him may actually get the chance to reclaim the word, as the left wing rejects it in favor of such less-tainted words as "progressive".

You're still way off base on "zero-sum". If you really care, study a little game theory. This has been a much-abused term in the political realm for years now. I'm pretty sure it began with a few economist types who actually knew what they were talking about using it in some apt metaphors. Soon it was much like the "gravitas" phenomenon of 2000, but all along the political spectrum.

Gosh, anonymous, I have no idea where you got the idea that I don't like you. I even agree with some of your ideas. I just don't like the way you've been articulating them. Some of your arguments deserve much better advocacy. Try plain speaking, fewer insults, and less emotion.

Anonymous said...

" . . . as for 'prescriptive' vs 'descriptive', you got it exactly backwards." -Truth to Powder

No! *I* wasn't irresponsibly making things up!

From:
"English Plus+ News, November 2000

" . . . there are two different editorial policies used by the editors of dictionaries. The terms WE (editors from English Plus) use to describe them are *descriptive* and *prescriptive*.

(Got that? Pronoun WE refers to editors of DICTIONARIES, not some B.S. that YOU'VE made up to appear authoritative!!!! )


Descriptive dictionaries describe the language. They include words that are commonly used even if they are nonstandard spellings. Prescriptive dictionaries tend to be more concerned about correct definitions and uses of standard English. (exactly as I originally depicted)

The truth of the matter is that today virtually all English language dictionaries are descriptive. The editors will usually say that they are simply recording the language and how its words are used and spelled. True, there may be some guidance. For example, most Merriam-Webster dictionaries will note if certain words are deemed nonstandard or offensive by most users; however, the words are still included. Of modern dictionaries, only the Funk and Wagnall's contains a certain amount of prescriptive advice. ALL THE MAJOR DICTIONARY PUBLISHERS -- MERRIAM-WEBSTER, TIMES-MIRROR,WORLD BOOK, AND FUNK AND WAGNALL'S --WILL TELL YOU THAT THEY ARE PRIMARILY DESCRIPTIVE."
-English Plus

Zero-sum derives from "game theory"!
Well, duh.
I don't know why you think the etymology (sorry 'nother big word, I will try to dummy down all this nerdy stuff) of a word should control any future derivative (sorry) meanings or usages.

Your analogy tying Zero-sum to "Corporate" speak mission statements to my prose is bizarre.

I have no real experience with Corporate Mission Statement language so I'll defer to your greater judgment.

However, are you sure, at some time, you didn't slip on a discarded Big Mac at Mickey Dee's and then just couldn't get a very big settlement????

Sorry about BS -- I was just using "plain" old Northern Utah speaking.

Insults are the raison d'etat at the Agora -- I've learned the hard way to never post without an ample supply. Never leave home without one!!!!
Whoops, sorry, more Corporate Speak!!!!

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

Sorry it has taken so long to respond! I was fortunate to be able to spend some time with the little conservatives last evening and couldn’t get to the computer.

Wait! Did I just use the term conservative in some sort of “prescriptive” way? Of course I did! It is the same kind of prescription that I used when I defined liberal, for which I make no apology. You see, Anonomy, I am neither a scientist nor a linguist, nor do I claim to be either; however, in my search for truth, through the use of the descriptive scientific method, I have drawn conclusions.

As we gather data, do we eventually cross from being descriptive to prescriptive? Though the analysis phase of the scientific method it would seem to be our responsibility to be descriptive. But I would suggest that after conclusions are drawn we are forced to move from description to prescription. It is the very nature of post-conclusion.

So when is description verses prescription appropriate?

For example, would you try to suggest that after determining that the theory of evolution is true, you would feel nothing? I would suggest that such a proposition is not possible. Further, would you suggest that after finding that the evidence you based your conclusion on had been tampered with, tampered with to the point that you had to reverse your decision on evolution, you would feel nothing? Am I begging the question here? Of course I am. You know the answers.

Those who have supported evolution in the wake of tainted evidence and refuse to rethink their position are those who are guilty of the “prescription” of analysis that you so piously abhor.

Additionally, let me hypothetically suggest that you work for ABC in the production of a recreation of history. Wouldn’t it would be your responsibility to be descriptive? Wouldn't it be imperative that you present history as it happened rather than bow to pressure from outside influences that demand historical rewrite? Perhaps, however, you would bow to that pressure in an overt attempt to manipulate opinion. Of course that would never happen. It would be inappropriate prescription.

Or maybe as a journalist in the main stream media (Dan Rather comes to mind) you would promote forged documents as authentic in order to attempt to sway an election. Of course that would never happen. It would be inappropriate prescription.

But hey, I’m sure that when those instances of prescription happen, those who are guilty do so because, if I may quote myself, they “feel (they) know better, and therefore feel (they) are more capable of doing the thinking for (others).

Thank you, Anonymy, for opening my eyes to the potential ills of inappropriate prescription. I certainly will try to be more careful from now on.

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be able to catch most of the President’s speech on America’s victories in the war on terror as presented by NPR. I highly recommend you all go to the Whitehouse web sight and read the entire speech. It is a masterful speech with an important message to the nation; to the Supreme Court, and to Congress. It provided an excellent template for discussion on the Constitution in my Civics class today. But, back to NPR: once Bush had finished, they trotted out Patrick Leahy to comment on it. The first question from the NPR spin mister, “What did you think of the President’s speech?” Leahy admitted he hadn’t even listened to the speech but was then given full reign to vent his Democrat Talking points, proving not only that he had not listened but that he had no knowledge. When the NPR person announced that their next spinner would be from Amnesty International, it wasn’t even a surprise.

It has been instructive to me to follow the “debate” here in the Agora. The threats of the terrorists to force us to Islam have been dropped and we are discussing semantics. It has been my long experience that when a “debater” deserts the topic to argue definitions he has lost the debate.

Anonymous said...

Senate Reports: No Saddam, Al-qaida link.
Long awaited analysis also finds that anti-Sadam group misled U.S.

(chaired by Sen. Pat Roberts (R) Kansas)

It has been my long experience that when a "debater" convolutes issues and seeks never to be handicapped with a knowledge of the facts that he has lost the debate.

truth to power said...

Has someone decided we should fight only the terrorists who are directly linked to Al Qaeda? Why?
I reject this strange idea.

MindMechanic said...

The claim made by George Bush was that Saddam and Iraq had ties to terrorists and global terrorism. It has been the media and the left that made the connection to 9-11. Bush has on numerous occasions stated and restated and clarified for the restatement that Saddam was NOT responsible for 9-11 or Al Qaida.

Now...if you refute the notion that he had ties to terrorism, then you would be calling Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, and about half of the current democrat senators and representatives liars.

Saddam paid families of palestinian suicide bombers. He publicly announced he was doing so. We have found terrorist training camps in Iraq (complete w/ aircraft fusilages).

The following are facts. They are easily historically checked and referenced.

"In 1993, the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) directed and pursued an attempt to assassinate, through the use of a powerful car bomb, former U.S. President George Bush and the Emir of Kuwait. Kuwaiti authorities thwarted the terrorist plot and arrested 16 suspects, led by two Iraqi nationals."

"Iraq shelters terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), which has used terrorist violence against Iran and in the 1970s was responsible for killing several U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilians."

"Iraq shelters several prominent Palestinian terrorist organizations in Baghdad, including the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), which is known for aerial attacks against Israel and is headed by Abu Abbas, who carried out the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered U.S. citizen Leon Klinghoffer."

"Iraq shelters the Abu Nidal Organization, an international terrorist organization that has carried out terrorist attacks in twenty countries, killing or injuring almost 900 people. Targets have included the United States and several other Western nations. Each of these groups have offices in Baghdad and receive training, logistical assistance, and financial aid from the government of Iraq."



"In April 2002, Saddam Hussein increased from $10,000 to $25,000 the money offered to families of Palestinian suicide/homicide bombers. The rules for rewarding suicide/homicide bombers are strict and insist that only someone who blows himself up with a belt of explosives gets the full payment. Payments are made on a strict scale, with different amounts for wounds, disablement, death as a "martyr" and $25,000 for a suicide bomber. Mahmoud Besharat, a representative on the West Bank who is handing out to families the money from Saddam, said, "You would have to ask President Saddam why he is being so generous. But he is a revolutionary and he wants this distinguished struggle, the intifada, to continue."

"Former Iraqi military officers have described a highly secret terrorist training facility in Iraq known as Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations."

MindMechanic said...

Cited from the documents released April 2006

"In the Name of God the Merciful The Compassionate
Top Secret

The Command of Ali Bin Abi Taleb Air Force Base

No 3/6/104

Date 11 March 2001

To all the Units

Subject: Volunteer for Suicide Mission

The top secret letter 2205 of the Military Branch of Al Qadisya on 4/3/2001 announced by the top secret letter 246 from the Command of the military sector of Zi Kar on 8/3/2001 announced to us by the top secret letter 154 from the Command of Ali Military Division on 10/3/2001 we ask to provide that Division with the names of those who desire to volunteer for Suicide Mission to liberate Palestine and to strike American Interests and according what is shown below to please review and inform us.

Air Brigadier General

Abdel Magid Hammot Ali

Commander of Ali Bin Abi Taleb Air Force Base

Air Colonel

Mohamad Majed Mohamadi."

Anonymous said...

Rump:
Personally, I don't think "evolution" is True.
also
I don't think it's True that water boils at 100 C at sea-level.
also
I don't think that it's True the sun will come up tomorrow over Lysis' house in Layton.

However, I DO think that the evidence forcing ALL of these conclusions is very STRONG and COMPELLING. Also, I have CONFIDENCE through the great accumulation of data and evidence that all of these are factual and reliable accounts and predictions.

As for scientific evidence leading eventually to "prescriptive" conclusions -- Water boils at 100 C, but I don't know that it SHOULD.

The Inductive methodology of Science (sorry TTP I'll throw a few BS's your way to make you feel more at home) will NEVER get to TRUTH, no matter how much evidence piles up.

As I have said before, Science is self-correcting. Of course, from epoch to epoch Science has made some astounding blunders and some things that were thought factually reliable were questioned empirically (sorry TTO, I'll work this into a rap song for you) and has fundamentally changed; ie, Newton to Einstein.

Darwin had great respect for the scientific method, but made his share of blunders too.

Darwin and Evolution could be abandoned one day for an empirical account of origins that was somehow stronger and more verifiable. I wouldn't be crushed or despondent; I would CELEBRATE the advance of knowledge that SCIENCE had once more brought to man.

I am sorry that God has not made himself/herself/itself readily available to scientific accountablity, experimentation, and limitations.

For questions of TRUTH I go to God, not science or even rationality.

The Fundamental difference between US (Rump and probably every other Agora bloger) is *proselytization*.

I do not feel compelled, through "heart" or decree to make the world like me.

. . . when people TALK of TRUTH, it feels like they are commiting some kind of obscene sacrilege -- men are so under-qualified. THAT "talk" is ONLY for you and God, not to be pandered about as a commodity of obeisance or a pathetic means of self-justification.

But, that's just how I feel!!!!

MindMechanic said...

Saddam and terrorism: No lack of evidence

By Christopher Holton
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Thursday, February 6, 2003
Yesterday morning Secretary of State Colin Powell masterfully presented the United Nations Security Council with evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs and efforts to hide those programs from U.N. inspectors.

Faced with an obvious impending plethora of evidence showing the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in the form of ballistic missiles, chemical agents and biological weaponry, foes of toppling Saddam will no doubt change tactics. They will now focus on what they claim is a lack of evidence linking Iraq to the September 11th terrorist attacks and Al Qaida.

First of all, links to Al Qaida are not the question. Our enemies in this conflict are Islamic militants ("Jihadists") from several groups, including Hizbullah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Al Qaida who have been at war with the United States since at least 1982.

An odd alliance of Buchannanite neo-isolationists and radical Hollywood leftists, such as Susan "What did Iraq do to us?" Sarandon, would have you believe that Saddam Hussein has virtually nothing to do with terrorism and is an arch-enemy of the Jihadists. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Investigative reporters, intelligence operatives, authors and politicians from both the left and right for years have documented Saddam Hussein's ties to terrorist groups. In fact, only recently have neo-isolationists and Hollywood radicals called his ties to terrorism into question.

As part of the cease-fire agreement that stopped the Gulf War in 1991, as contained in U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991), Iraq agreed that it must not commit or support terrorism or allow terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq. Along with virtually every other condition in that resolution, Iraq has violated this one early and often.

Despite what you may read in your newspaper or see on television news, Iraq has a long history as a state sponsor of terrorism. In fact, Iraq has been included on our State Department's list of terrorist sponsoring nations for two decades-long before the Gulf War. Now, suddenly, critics of U.S. policy are all but claiming that Saddam Hussein has no ties to terrorism. Their mantra seems to be: "Where is the proof?'

Why are the neo-isolationists and Hollywood radicals asking for "proof" of Saddam Hussein's ties to Al Qaida and other terrorist groups? Because they know that it will be virtually impossible to produce. As former CIA director James Woolsey once said: "Hearsay is not admissible as evidence and almost all intelligence is hearsay. Evidentiary standards are the wrong standards."

Had we insisted upon hard, courtroom evidence, the Taliban regime would still be in power in Afghanistan today.

The fact is, Iraq shelters known, wanted terrorists, allows terrorist groups to maintain offices within its borders and operates a terrorist training camp at Salman Pak, complete with the fuselage of an airliner for practicing hijacking.

According to the State Department, among the terrorist groups that continue to maintain offices in Baghdad are the Arab Liberation Front, Abu Abbas' Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), and, at least until the recent suicide (?) of its leader, the Abu Nidal Organization.

It has also been reported that members of the Jihadist Palestinian terror group Hamas trained at Salman Pak and that Saddam has paid large sums of money to surviving family members of suicide bombers.

One indisputable terror crime that Iraq was involved in was the attempted assassination in 1993 of former President George H. W. Bush during his visit to Kuwait. In fact, President Bill Clinton ordered a cruise missile strike in retaliation for that failed plot, which was put together by Iraqi intelligence.

In the past few years, two independent investigators have uncovered evidence that would seem to indicate Iraqi involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Dr. Laurie Mylroie published a book entitled "Revenge: Saddam Hussein's Unfinished War Against America." That book details evidence of Iraqi involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The book has been updated and republished as "The War Against America: Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center Attacks." William F. Buckley, Jr. said that Mylroie's book "reports persuasively that Saddam Hussein was the sponsor of the 1993 attempt on the World Trade Center." Lest you believe that Mylroie is just an arch-conservative ideologue writing in support of the Bush administration, you may want to know that this book was published in 2000, before George W. Bush was even elected. Furthermore, Mylroie is a former adviser to none other than Bill Clinton. Most importantly, however, in her book, Dr. Mylroie reveals that Jim Fox, the director of the New York FBI at the time of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, concluded that Iraq was behind the bombing. Moreover, one of the suspects still wanted in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, Abdul Yasin, is known to have fled the country and is now in Baghdad. That fact alone puts Iraq in violation of UNSCR 687."

To be clear...Iraq did NOT cause the terrorist attack on the US on 9-11. But to say there is no connection to global terrorism is ludicrous.

Or maybe not.

Maybe Bill Clinton is a war criminal for citing Saddams connection to the plot to kill former president George Bush and then launching missiles at Iraq.

So...is he or isnt he?

MindMechanic said...

"Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said it has long been known that prewar assessments of Iraq "were a tragic intelligence failure."

And maybe thats because-

“During the Bill Clinton years, our intelligence-gathering capabilities suffered dramatically,” Souder said. “The number of U.S. intelligence operatives was cut by almost a third, and U.S. intelligence assets declined by 40 percent"

Thank GOODNESS it wasnt 'President' Kerry...because he wanted...

"Kerry’s 1994 Proposal To Cut $1 Billion – Which He Introduced Twice – Similarly Gutted All Aspects Of Intelligence Budget. Kerry proposed a bill cutting $1 billion from the budgets of the National Foreign Intelligence Program and from Tactical Intelligence, and freezing their budgets. When the bill got stuck in committee, Kerry proposed it as an amendment to another bill. His amendment was soundly defeated."

Or...I guess you could just go on believing that everything was GREAT and perfect and rosy and it all fell apart in the few months after Bush was sworn in. Mind you...that theory wont account for the fact that all the 9-11 terrorists came to America and were under watch BY the Clinton FBI, the World Trade Centers were bombed DURING the Clinton administration, and that the US or US embassies and interests were attacked NUMEROUS times during the Clinton years.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

I think “evolution” is true.
Also
I don’t think water will boil under any circumstance at sea level.
Also
I think the earth is flat and Lysis’ house is the center of the universe.

For thousands of years the evidence forcing these conclusions was strong and compelling. Through the great accumulation of data confidence grew that all of these accounts were factual and reliable predictions.

Then, “as (you) have said before, Science is self-correcting. Of course, from epoch to epoch Science has made some astounding blunders and some things that were thought factually reliable were questioned empirically (sorry TTO, I'll work this into a rap song for you) and has fundamentally changed; i.e., Newton to Einstein.”

We have finally come full circle. Though I am a great believer in faith, this has never been a faith-based discussion. Lysis has never suggested that anyone should accept prescriptive data. He has suggested that there is documentable proof that “empirical data” supporting evolution was tampered with (i.e. the moth experiment, contained atmosphere to create life, etc.), that there are gaps in the general theory (where is the missing link? And no, it is not Lysis) and that the theory itself is tautology.

Lysis has presented his resources (independent of Coulter) for you to scrutinize. What you do with that information in the search for truth is "talk () ONLY for you and God."

As to prescriptive conclusions, your fear and refusal to view evidence that might contradict what you believe (and I chose the word believe purposely, because the existing data does not support your conclusion) is a better example of any conclusion that I could dream up.

I must agree that we are far apart in our view on “*proselytization*”. But I will disagree as to why. I have no desire to make the world like me. Lysis might suggest that that it would be a huge mistake if all the world were like me, because I might actually be the missing link

I do believe that on some level, even the worst of us searches for truth. In my quest, the amount of truth I have found is miniscule, certainly far less than you have accumulated.

As others travel that same road, I am more than happy to share what small truths I have discovered along the way. I live with the hope that perhaps, selfish though it may seem, those on the road can relay some of their findings to me. Is such a journey a “pathetic means of self-justification?” If so, I will happily travel that road.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Brainmechanic:

Thank you for the facts related to terrorist connections in Saddam’s Iraq. As I listened to the screaming of the Democrat Senators today I was reminded of some more lines from the Crucible

Abigail: . . . I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!

Betty: I saw George Jacobs with the Devil! I saw Goody Howe with the Devil! . . .
I saw Martha Bellows with the Devil!

Abigail: I saw Goody Sibber with the Devil!

Betty: I saw Alice Barrow with the Devil!

Hale: Let the marshal bring irons!

Abigail: I saw Goody Hawkings with the Devil!

Betty: I saw Goody Bibber with the Devil!

Abigail: I saw Goody Booth with the Devil!

[THE CURTAIN FALLS]


The stupid people of Salem were willing to disregard reason and the truth and believe the screaming of the manic maidens. Many Americans will listen to the squawking of the Senators and disregard the facts. They will call for the irons and bellow for the rope. I will not be surprised to see these lies sway the fools in this country.

I listened tonight to Senator Rockefeller, who now leads the screamers against the President; tell the American People in 2003 that it would be foolish not to remove Saddam form power. That America could never take the chance of leaving Saddam in power. Now to grab power, Rockefeller expects us all to forget his former stance and accept his misleading accusations against President Bush. This non story, stirred up entirely to gin up votes for Democrats in November, is Salem all over again. Only this time it will be more that 20 innocents that die. Saddam, bin Laden, and Satin are all laughing as the West self-destructs.

Flaccid:
I hope you noticed that Sen. Pat Roberts, dismissed Democrat interpretations of his committee’s report as “little more that a vehicle to advance election-year political charges.” He went on to charge that Democrats are attempting “to use the committee to try and rewrite history.” He pointed out that the Democrats were “cherry picking” from the report in order to advance their political agenda.
They have all taken up the hysterical screaming – as will, no doubt, the media – but the truth remains as Brainmechanic has presented it above. Mean time the admissions of former Deputy Sec of State Richard Armitage point out the stupidity and evil of the last Democrat and Media stirred up witch hunt. How many innocents must be destroyed before reason can regain sway?

Flaccid, your propensity to disregard facts in order to maintain you beliefs is constantly on display here in the Agora. Your position on Darwin has flopped, (you’ve pushed it over with your own convoluted rantings) your attacks on the President can’t stand up. I have no doubt that you and Rumpole will now have a great time arguing about the meaning of the words “fact” and “belief”; while you go on claiming to see Goody Good with the devil. Thinking people can only weep.

Strategos said...

Sorry I’m late the first two weeks of school have been pretty hectic. I am eager to discuss evolutionary theory with members of the agora. I have been an anthropology major for a few years. The entire science of Anthropology is based on evolutionary theory so I have been studying it deeply for quite some time. As a student studying the most recent findings regarding evolution here are some of my observations.

1. There is no substantial evidence to support Evolution as a scientific theory.


2. The only reason that evolution is accepted over other creation stories is it allows for (but does not require) the absence of a creator.
A. Let me clarify, every evidence that has been presented to support evolution can be just as easily interpreted to support any other creation theory. No evidence has been presented that points exclusively toward evolution.
B. The only reason evolution is taught in schools instead Genesis is because evolution does not require you to take a leap of faith and believe in God.

3. Darwin’s theory of evolution has been almost completely abandoned by modern evolutionists. They now claim
a. That life probably did not originate in a primordial soup, in fact that soup probably never existed on earth.
b. That the fossil record shows extremely short punctuated periods of development rather than long gradual change.
c. That humans most likely did not evolve from any form of prehistoric primates now identified.

Interestingly enough the modern DNA evidence shows that modern humans were unrelated to both Homo-erectus and Neanderthals and that the species Homo-sapien-sapein, originated almost spontaneously from a small group (possibly a single couple but probably a group of less than fifty) living isolated in Africa.

d. Darwin’s theory was based on incomplete evidence and is not supported or represented in the fossil record or by modern observation of species adaptation.

(Keep in mind that I am hearing these arguments not from radical right wing Christians but from my liberal college professor who has based her entire career on evolutionary theory.)

5. Modern theories of evolution have much larger holes than Darwin’s, and ask you to make much larger leaps of faith than believing in God.

6. In my last two classes on evolution the discussion went something like this,
A. Galileo was persecuted for saying the sun was the center of the solar system.
B. Religion often gets in the way of science
C. Religious leaders opposed Darwin’s theory of evolution.
E. The world is much older than six thousand years so the Bible is wrong about everything.
F. We also think Darwin was wrong about almost everything, but that’s OK see science can mislead people for decades even centuries and then when evidence arises we can change our minds. See science is so great we can be wrong again and again and again and still claim that science is the only way to search for truth, not that we know any truth but at least we admit we don’t know anything, (but you will be tested to see how well you know Darwin’s theory and all the other stuff we currently teach but can’t prove and don’t even claim we can prove, that’ll be $2000 please.)
G. The only things we really know, not because we have clear evidence but because we don’t have any evidence to the contrary is that, all life came from simple chemical reactions, One species sometimes turns into another species, man is a lot like other primates living and extinct.
H. We don’t know how life came from chemical reactions, how species change to other species, or where man came from but we know it wasn’t God, or it could be have been God don’t anyone get offended, but it wasn’t God.


Anonymous give me you strong evidence I’ll probably get extra credit in my class for it. Give me your proof I’ll win the Nobel Prize.

P.S. I do not attack evolution because of my religious convictions, I believed in Darwin’s theory for years without any religious objection. Nor do I have any reason personal, political, or religious, to appose evolutionary theory. Like I said my chosen field of study is based on it. My doubts about evolution have arisen from knowledge gained in my science classes taught by liberal, atheist, and evolutionist professors presenting their own best evidence.

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Strategos:

Two points in your post are particularly cogent. First that DNA evidence shows that modern humans are not related to “Proto-human” species. Second that the acceptance by modern science that “Darwin’s theory was based on incomplete evidence and is not supported or represented in the fossil record or by modern observation of species adaptation.” How inconvenient for the neo-libs. Now in order to limit the discussion they must have court orders and forced teacher resignations to keep their dis-information in the schools.

Your best point was revealing the real reason that neo-libs must defend Darwin – that natural selection and “survival of the fittest” allows teachers to talk about creation without mention of God. [Something, I can’t help but reiterate, that Darwin didn’t do in *Origin of the Specie*.]

That censorship has become the “weapon of choice” of the modern witch hunters (the neo-libs) is clearly evident in two politically charged attacks on free speech at present.

First: The Valerie “Goes Down in Flames” disaster. For three years the media whipped up a frenzy of suspicion to attack the President and the Vic President. Now we know that Fitzgerald, (A government prosecutor – don’t those guys have to take any kind of oath on integrity?) knew the real leaker but went on pretending he didn’t and even ordered the Secretary of State to lie about the investigation. (Telling someone not to tell the truth is telling them to lie!) Hundreds of front page newspaper stories and lead broadcast reports questioned the integrity of our President, but now that the liars are reveled, one is hard pressed to find mention of the truth. On the day Armitage admitted his crimes and apologized to the President, NPR didn’t seem to even notice the story. It seems to me it would have been the perfect time to do a McCarthy retrospective.

Second: ABC tries to present a docudrama which attempts to tell the truth about Clinton’s incompetence - not exactly a state secret – and the neo-libs go berserk. That US senators actually threaten an entertainment network, attempting to bully them into silence, is so shocking one would expect to see it in Putin’s Russia – but not the good old USA. Where are the ACLU lawyers running to the defense of ABC? I guess if it were child porn – they would have taken up the cause. Now that it has been proven that there are no witches the slaughter of the past can only be justified by more killings.

Coulter reveals the very same neo-lib hysteria in their court rulings and the school district pressures placed on teachers. How can neo-libs and their lackeys in the courts and press even pretend to defend freedom of speech? And what could be more reveling about the weakness of their positions than their insistence that no other point of view be presented.

In the Salem witch hunts there were three groups of people that the screaming girls accused. First they attacked the unpopular people of the community (the beggars and bums – the old women they had heard their parents ridicule). Next they were set on accusing the people who they disliked or whose property adjoined their parents. They became tools of their greedy parents. Finally they went after anyone who challenged them. To question the logic of the accusations was a sure way to get a screaming teen mob accusing you of cavorting with the devil. Now Chuck Schumer and Harry Read are in full squeal. There motives are obvious to all who think, someday I’ll write a play.

MindMechanic said...

No arguments from me today...

On September 11 2001 I had a day off and was in bed sleeping in when my wife woke me and told me we were under attack. She had just watched the second plane hit the towers. She told me what she had seen and heard to that point. I remember pretty clearly my response..."we arent at war-it is just a terrorist attack."

OK...so I was a little bit wrong.

I knew that if we were "at war" that I would have been called in (at the time I was superintendent of secure comm on base and we handled all classified traffic). I also wasnt shocked...I have walked through the aftermath of terror attacks throughout the middle east on numberous occasions. I guess if I was really shocked at anything I was shocked that it had taken so long to really hit us here in the US.

But I was wrong to downplay it. We ARE at war. We ARE under attack. Terrorists have been operating around the globe for many decades. The US was a target for terrorism throught the 90's. We have been a target for a lot longer than that.

The enemy we face doesnt wear a uniform. He/she doesnt represent a country. The enemy represents an ideology that says that it is justified and in fact glorious to slaughter unarmed and innocent men, women, and children in the glorious name of Jihad. They believe it is honorable to kill in the name of their God. They believe ANYONE that doesnt embrace their faith is subject to extermination and they arent playing around when they talk about doing it. They are planning it every day. they sluaghter children in Chechnya. They execute muslims in their own home countries. Given a chance, they would do it more here.

Heres the scary part...they are already here. They live in our borders and walk amongst us. Daily they have the opportunity to see the 'real' United States (not just the government and politicians) and they still find it justifiable to plan and (with any luck) carry out the slaughter of American men women and children. They dont care about conservative or liberal. They dont even care about muslims. They dont care about rights, constitution, or law. ANYTHING goes for them.

We argue back and forth on this forum, often about even the silliest of things. I'm guilty of it. This is a luxury we have because of the men and women on the wall (in reference to "A Few Good Men"). We have the luxury of despising the military and the luxury of despising the CIA and their actions in combating the terrorists. We have that luxury BECAUSE they are there doing their jobs.

I dont think we HAVE to agree (or disagree...think about that for a second...) on everything. I DO think we have to recognize our enemy and the intent of our enemy.

On the Discovery Channel last night I watched ted Koppel lead a discussion which allowed people to cry and moan about the secret prison and the use of 'inhumane' interogation tactics. Perhaps we are right in doing what we do. Perhaps we are wrong. Here is what we know...

1-Our enemy is (in most cases) not a US citizen.
2-Our enemy does not respect the US Constitution and does not honor it
3-Our enemy does not follow the Geneva convention
4-Our enemy is not a part of ANY foreign government (in wartime, spies are not afforded Geneva convention rights)
5-Our enemy is activiely engaged in planning the death of US citizens
6-Our enemy wishes to impose extremist laws that would order the death of homosexuals, that would order the execution of anyone attempting to teach women over the age of 7, that would destroy or deface any art that it finds objectionable. Our enemy does not beleive WE have rights.

Given those circumstances, I do not hesitate for one second to declare my support for the US government and ANY actions they take in combating these terrorists. I supported Bill Clinton as the president of the US and my commander in chief. I would do it if Al Gore or John Kerry were president as readily as I DO with George Bush as president.

If anyone has a better idea...I am all ears.

truth to power said...

Here's the solution:

We just need to give lots of money to the poor Arabs. They're only violent because they're poor and disenfranchised. We must also force the Zionists to give back all the territory they have stolen.

Oh yeah, and we need to quit offending the peaceful and enlightened Muslim world with such barbarisms as freedom of the press and free-market economics.

MindMechanic said...

To Truth to Power...

I think I detected at least a little sarcasm in your posting...but I'll play along anyway...

It is impossible to give to the poor in the Arab countries. Under extremist law, Allah MEANS for you to be poor. For someone to give to you and change your station in life is an affront by both the giver and the receiver and an insult to Allah. Death then to both.

The Red Crescent Society (the Arab Red Cross) walks a delicate line between sustaining the poor and insulting them.

They are in fact violent because they are poor and disenfranchised. I have witnessed it. Take someone that has nothing and has no hope of advancing beyond their current position. Now, tell that person that in their next life they will have riches untold if only they martyr themselves to Allah. When you have nothing you have nothing to lose. You recieve future glory, your family recieves present glory. Thats tough to combat.

The whole zionist thing...I have to tell you...the Palestine thing is way over-rated. the only time people care about Palestine and Palestinians is when they serve a political purpose. Beyond that, the average middle easterner could care less about them and I mean that in all sincerity. Of course the jews will ALWAYS be the favorite whipping boy, but they are mere convenient targets.

MindMechanic said...

Oh yeah... I forgot to mention...the whole free market thing is NOT foreign to several middle eastern countries. Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Turkey, Egypt, and several others. Even Iran was well on its way to a booming western style economy til President Carter pulled the rug out.

Some of the malls and stores in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait City, etc would blow your mind.

Cameron said...

Another blog I frequent posted an article from the AP about Iraq's WMDs.

Here are some excerpts:

Do you believe in Iraqi "WMD"? Did Saddam Hussein's government have weapons of mass destruction in 2003?

Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in Iraq.

The reality in this case is that after a 16-month, $900-million-plus investigation, the U.S. weapons hunters known as the Iraq Survey Group declared that Iraq had dismantled its chemical, biological and nuclear arms programs in 1991 under U.N. oversight. That finding in 2004 reaffirmed the work of U.N. inspectors who in 2002-03 found no trace of banned arsenals in Iraq.

MindMechanic said...

Cameron-

Here are the bullet statement results of the IRG findings. (they are pulled exactly as they appear in everyones favorite source "Wikipedia" so take them for what they are worth...)

I would just point out what has been said before...the onus and responsibility for accounting for Iraqs WMDs was on Iraq. Bill Clinton and William Cohen cited the numerous accounts of the Iraqi officials lying, blocking inspections, stonewalling results, etc. IF in fact Iraq had no WMDs then Iraq shot itself in the foot by refusing to give an accounting of the whereabouts or disposition of the WMDs.

Duelfer Report
On September 30, 2004, the ISG released the Duelfer Report, its final report on Iraq's WMD programs. The main points of the report are as follows:

-Iraq's main goal was to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute WMD production.
-Iraq's WMD programs had decayed significantly since the end of the first Gulf War.
-No senior Iraqi official interviewed by the ISG believed that Saddam had forsaken WMD forever.
-Iraq had no deployable WMD of any kind as of March 2003 and had no production since 1991.
-The ISG judged that in March 2003, Iraq would have had the ability to produce large quantities of Sulfur Mustard in 3-6 months, and large quantities of nerve agent in 2 years.
-There was no proof of any biological weapons stocks since 1991.
-Iraq's nuclear program was terminated in 1991, at which point micrograms of enriched uranium had been produced from a single test gas centrifuge.
-Iraq had intended to restart all banned weapons programs as soon as multilateral sanctions against it had been dropped, a prospect that the Iraqi government saw coming soon.
-Smuggling was used by Iraq to rebuild as much of its WMD program as could be hidden from U.N. weapons inspectors.
-Iraq had an effective system for the procurement of items banned by sanctions.
-Until March 2003, Saddam Hussein convinced his top military commanders that Iraq did indeed possess WMD that could be used against any U.S. invasion force, in order to prevent a coup over the prospects of fighting the U.S.-led Coalition without these weapons.
-Iraq used procurement contracts allowed under the Oil for Food program to buy influence among U.N. Security Council member states including France, China, and Russia, as well as dozens of prominent journalists and anti-sanctions activists.

"The former Regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after sanctions. Neither was there an identifiable group of WMD policy makers or planners separate from Saddam. Instead, his lieutenants understood WMD revival was his goal from their long association with Saddam and his infrequent, but firm, verbal comments and directions to them."
"Iran was the pre-eminent motivator of this policy. All senior level Iraqi officials considered Iran to be Iraq's principal enemy in the region. The wish to balance Israel and acquire status and influence in the Arab world were also considerations, but secondary."

MindMechanic said...

bullet items 1,5,8,9,and 10 would appear to be pretty clear violations of the 17 UN resolutions passed against Iraq.

I still dont buy it. Sorry...call it a proof thing. If they dismantled their program we should be able to see the results. We arent talking about a few hundred vials. We are talking about literally thousands of TONS of biological spores. The assumption then would have to be that without oversight and without supervision Saddam VOLUNTARILY and honorably destroyed those weapons and didnt tell anyone about it.

You buying it?

MindMechanic said...

OK...so the problem with sole sourcing from WIKIPEDIA is that it isnt very complete. You might want to try

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2004/isg-final-report/

"The problem of accounting for the destruction of bulk agent is part of the larger issue of Iraqi BW agent material balance. ISG cannot arrive at an agent material balance because it still does not know with confidence:
-The amount of each agent produced at each production facility
-The amount of each agent used in weapons filling
-The number of weapons filled with each agent
-The amount of bulk agent of each type destroyed

"For several years, Special Republican Guard officers concealed the “know-how” documents, which Husayn Kamil ordered collected in 1991. These officers used safehouses in the Ghaziliyah and Hay at Tashri neighborhoods of Baghdad and a farm in Abu Ghurayb to hide the documents."

"In late 2002, weeks before the arrival of the UNMOVIC inspectors in Iraq, NMD employees reportedly were ordered to collect all documents indicating discrepancies between the number of chemical and biological munitions destroyed or used and the total number produced. These documents, which filled 16 boxes, were being turned in to the IIS to be hidden or disposed of."

"ISG cannot determine the fate of Iraq’s stocks of bulk BW agents remaining after Desert Storm and subsequent unilateral destruction. There is a very limited chance that continuing investigation may provide evidence to resolve this issue.

The fate of the missing bulk agent storage tanks.

The fate of a portion of Iraq’s BW agent seed-stocks.

The nature, purpose and who was involved in the secret biological work in the small IIS laboratories discovered by ISG.

Through an investigation of the history of Iraq’s bulk BW agent stocks, it has become evident to ISG that officials were involved in concealment and deception activities."

The actual ISG final report is FULL of inconsistencies. And this is only what they KNEW...not what they didnt know.

Anonymous said...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200499,00.html

read as desired. Note: these are from the 1991 era not new and are indications that all was not destroyed. That is why though many conservatives wanted the Bush admin to make a bigger deal out of this, they didn't. Research from here.

Anonymous said...

Ask why Lysis would want to attack science and the scientific method by using science and the scientific method????

Lysis can EASILY justify his "new found" anti-science by publishing his "wisdom" in a REAL SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL and enlightening all the supposed mis-guided, dishonest, liberal scientists and professors. Then Lysis' PARANOIA could explain why all the Scientific journals are corrupted by liberal pinheads and how EVERYONE is either FOR Lysis' science or a scientific traitor and terrorist and out to corrrupt the minds of American youth! (Lysis' account of his Anthro. class is blatant, biased, belligerent, B.S. and he knows it)

I see the *Crucible* for a parable of the present FEAR, FEAR, FEAR that arises from ignorance and superstition -- the fear that can be co-oped and made to serve DISHONEST CHARLATANS that would readily erase basic human rights for their own EVIL ends.

Danforth's "logic and science" is the same disgusting malevolence as Lysis' -- it serves the same master. Excepting of course, that Danforth feels "some" remorse when he sees the cataclysm he helps usher forth.

Lysis the "long-suffering" Botanist/Anthropologist (giggling may commence)who has abandoned Science for what? . . . arrogance, bitterness, and paranoia!!!!

MindMechanic said...

"the fear that can be co-oped and made to serve DISHONEST CHARLATANS that would readily erase basic human rights for their own EVIL ends."

I am curious...I hear all the time about the erosion of our rights...just which rights exactly are we losing?

I have to be honest...I've looked and looked and I just dont see it. I pciked up the phone today and made multiple calls. I did it in earshot of many people and to be honest I just dont care if anyone heard or not. Some will say that "SOMEONE may be listening (gasp!!!)." Wow...talk about paranoia and fear. But if they ARE...I could not care less.

I went to work. I spent my own money. I bought gas and food. I listened to some music. I looked up and enjoyed the mountains. We still have the freedom to pretty much say anything we want. We vote. We protest. We attend rallies. We have internet access. Which rights exactly are being denied us?

OK...So if I am calling to Dubai several times a week, my calls might be monitored. So if I make financial transactions with foreign banks that might be watched. It doesnt mean I CANT make the calls OR the deals...so again...which rights am I losing?

Which rights have YOU lost? Maybe I am just missing things...

MindMechanic said...

Crikey!!!

On a different note...

The Aussie opinions and reactions re Steve Irwin's death are pretty wild. They range from reverance ala religous icon type worship to disgust and disdain.

Now we hear that 10 stingrays have been killed and mutillated since his death. IF these are true reports and IF they are being done in 'retalliation' for the death of Steve Irwin, I cant even imagine how they can take a man's life work and pervert it so terribly. IF the reports turn out to be true I imagine Steve must be just crying over the loss of the creatures and the twisting of his message.

And maybe it isnt such a different note. Isnt this the same sort of thing the muslim fascist terrorists are doing...that is...perverting the word of Muhammed and Islam into a doctrine that teaches anger, hatred, and slaughter of innocents in the name of God?

Yow...

Anonymous said...

Yo,
BM:

Giles Corey, Martha Corey, Rebecca Nurse, Bridget Bishop, Sarah Good Sarah Wilds, Susanna Martin, Elizabeth How, Elisabeth Proctor and other INNOCENT respectable members of Salem ALSO thought that if they had not "trangressed" the law that their "Civil Rights" would be completely assured and uncompromised by the state.

Because of that FICTION, they all were sentenced to hang and most were hung.

Theocratic justic is swift, if not just.

The INJUSTICE that Miller's Crucible condemns is that government's willingness to use FEAR and HATRED to gain the consent of the governed -- welcome to "neo" Salem!!!!

MindMechanic said...

Yo anon...

So tell me again what freedoms and rights you have lost. I hear about it ALL THE TIME...and I have asked the question on NUMEROUS occasions and I just havent gotten a response.

Following the 2000 elections black activists in Florida claimed that blacks were disenfranchised and denied their voting rights. They stood up and proclaimed that it was "Jim Crow all over again". When asked what that meant...they had no answer. Of course not...because the sound bites and rhetoric they were given to chant didnt include explanations. On NATIONAL TELEVISION a gentleman proclaimed that he was turned away from a polling station. When asked which polling station he hemmed and hawed. When pressed, he couldnt even answer which polling station he was allegedly turned away from. When pressed further he admitted on national television that he in fact wasnt even FROM Florida but was part of the contingent bussed in to protest the election results.

Look...if there are voter abuses I will make this bold declaration...bring them forward. I PERSONALLY WILL PAY for their legal expenses to file lawsuits against the polling districts and states that denied them their rights. I think if there is proof that any citizen was illegally denied their right to vote that it is despicable.

However...the flip side to that is simple as well. If they are lying they should be thrown in jail for filing false charges.

We heard the complaints about voting rights being denied in Ohio...this is the same state that a leftist judged ordered the polling stations REOPENED after their legal polling hours were closed. This is the same state where democrat activists rounded up homeless people and took them to polling stations, filled out their ballots, and then rewarded them with smokes and booze. We even heard Patrick Kennedy recently proclaim there were voter rights abuses there, a complaint which has been routinely refuted. But the complaints of loss of civil rights continue. And you know why...right? It is the tune of the pied piper.

OK...long winded...I know. Just tell me which rights have been suddenly denied and altered. Tell me which American citizens are being routinely denied their rights by the federal government.

Heck...Rocky stood in downtown Salt Lake city...in the middle of a rally HE helped organize and by some peoples accounts, with stat4e taxpayer dollars. And he stood with all the other protesters and chanters and spoke about lies of the government, corruption of the government...and how they had lost their rights ot free speech.

Huh???

How can someone like Kurt Vonnegut go to the Univ of Ohio...get paid a 6 figure speaking fee, rant about the government, and then in the same breath talk about his rights to freedom of speech being denied???

How can the Dixie Chicks speak their mind, go on numerous liberal TV shows to speak their mind, have a documentary made about them, and then claim they are denied their right to free speech?

Oh...wait...I get it. Because their speech had CONSEQUENCE...because PEOPLE decided they were fed up with these people and stopped purchasing their products (exercising THEIR freedoms) then the Dixie Chicks freedoms were denied? Is that it?

Look...a discussion...just help me to understand which of your rights are being denied. Dont give me BS, hype, rhetoric, or a theoretical comparison to the Goody's...

Whihc of YOUR RIGHTS are being denied you???

Anonymous said...

B.M.
Does the Patriot Act "clarify" and redefine civil rights?

Why was THAT nevessary?

Do "yo" think that Civil Rights are ONLY relevant during peacetime and that during a time of war they can/should be abrogated subject to Presidential decree?


Where have I addressed the state of MY civil rights? You seem unable to move this discussion into the topic of Civil Rights within the body politic without draging in Rocky, a nameless urban legend, and the Dixie Chicks!!!! (In their protests, I think Rocky and the Chicks were airing out other complaints than their "own" right to speak.)

MindMechanic said...

oh good lord Anonymous...can you not even ONCE engage in a conversation? You cite rights violations yet give no examples. You site fears from govefnment yet give no examples. I am left to STRUGGLE to make your arguments FOR you (ala citing alleged abuses of rights) and you find THAT offensive...

I have for years heard about the mythical abuses of the Patriot Act. Would it SHOCK you to know that most of the provisions of the Patriot Act were first presented for discussion by Al gore in 1999 and 2000? Would it blow your mind to know that democrats en masse voted for it? 98 to frickin 1 with 1 abstention.

Again...I IMPLORE you...ENGAGE. You cite fears of a government run amok using fear to exact it's evil purposes. DEFEND YOUR ARGUMENTS.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1&vote=00313

MindMechanic said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MindMechanic said...

To give a direct answer...no. Now is it a fact that during wartime some things change? Of course. Thats a historical fact. So we can keep the argument grounded to historical fact and not enter the realm of hysterical fact.

I have stated pretty plainly that I dont have any fears or concerns about my civil rights at this present time. You yourself stated YOU arent concerned about YOUR civil rights. It would help greatly to know then WHICH of our civil rights we are in jeapordy of losing in order to further engage in the discussion.

Now do I think the President has the right to issue executive orders? Sure... as long as they are not deemed unconstitutional (and as a assumed democrat I am sure you are aware of the numerous EOs issued by our past president). A judge has recently declared at least one of the presidents decisions as unconstitutional and while I presonally disagree with the judge (and it has been found that she has some particular bias in the case and should have recused herself) the administration is now changing gears to satisfy that decision, even though THEY disagree with her.

I do think it is important to remember that the freedoms of individuals that are being discussed are apparently those of captured terrorists. They are not enemy combatants. They dont represent a country or government. By every previous standard they do not qualify as protected by the Geneva convention nor do they qualify for constitutional rights. But that is an area open for discussion.

Is THAT who you mean when you mention the violation of rights?

Do "yo" think that Civil Rights are ONLY relevant during peacetime and that during a time of war they can/should be abrogated subject to Presidential decree?

Anonymous said...

BM
I said Patriot Act!!!!
You Said Dems agreed with it. (Why THAT is relevant, I don't know)
You extend with an irrelevancy about Al Gore and with what the FIRST VOTE was. There WAS a second vote, some are concerned -- its not settled, kind of like the flag-burning issue some won't let die -- its not over till its over.

Now, focus, . . . please tell me what MY claims have to do with Al Gore, or with what the Dems did in 99/2000????

I am no Hannity/Lysis-like spokeman, shill, pimp, ditto-head for Dems, liberals or Al Gore -- frickin or not.

Once again, THE PATRIOT ACT (The exclamation key is wearing out on my computer. Time for a new KEYBOARD!!!!)

MindMechanic said...

What about the Patriot Act concerns you anon?

Specifically...what freedoms does it deny you? What freedoms are you concerned aboutlosing? And since it was passed by congress it hardly counts as a right being "abrogated by the president during a time of war." Maybe thats what through me off.

Its a pretty subastantial document...does the name Patriot Act scare you? Is it the provisions of the Patriot Act? Would you feel more comfortable if it had a different name?

I am sure that you have READ the Patriot Act, especially since it frightens you, but for the benefit of others who might not, you can follow the link to the specific act. Again...I am sure you wont need to because since you are afraid of the Patriot Act you already know what is IN it and arent just parroting others 'fears' about it.

So...help me out. WHAT in the Patriot Act do you fear? Where have you seen it applied or misapplied that causes you such fear?

And lastly...in lieu of the Patriot Act...what provisions would YOU see passed to combat terrorism?

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ056.107

truth to power said...

I myself have some concerns about the Patriot Act. I'm not convinced that anyone's civil rights have been violated, nor that they will be. I am concerned that they CAN be.

What I have read on the subject suggests that some provisions of the Act can be abused as tools for ordinary law enforcement, in cases having nothing to do with terrorism. I have a problem with that. I believe in the Bill of Rights. I also believe it shouldn't automatically apply to terrorists.

I would like to see the Patriot Act made more abuse-proof, not because of what is happening now, but because of what may happen later.

I think it's a good thing that Americans have a healthy amount of anti-government paranoia. It's good to scrutinize new laws for potential problems. I don't think it's good to tell sensational lies to draw attention to such problems.

MindMechanic said...

truth-

I agree that where there are valid concerns about abuse they should be addressed. I still am a little fuzzy as to what parts are subject to abuse since thats how this debate usually goes.

I find it not a little bit ironic that many on the left have joined the "lunatic fringe" on the right about their fear of the government. Can the black helicopters and jackbooted thug blue helmeted UN forces be far behind? ;-) (yes that is meant as a joke)

What I find distressing from a conversational standpoint is the kneejerk reaction to the "Patriot Act." Because people have said there is a concern about it then there must therefore BE a concern about it, and it must be a government conspiracy to steal all rights and motivated by fear.

I think it could actually be a legitimate effort to enact legislation that helps fight terrorism. And the question has to be raised yet again...if we eliminate the Patriot Act, what then do we do to fight terrorism because the 90's anti-terror effort was a dismal failure.


the Words "Patriot Act" gets the simialr resposnse to the words "the Boogey man." Great...youve scared the children who react in fear to the words...now...just what is it we should fear?

Anonymous said...

BM
has posted:
"You yourself posted that you aren't concerned about your civil rights."
That is absurd. Provide me with a direct quote on that one.

Although, I am as concerned about YOUR civil rights as about MY own -- your civil rights are my civil rights are THEIR civil rights.

Your cavalier attitude about OUR civil rights makes me fear for MY civil rights.

BM's glib willingness to endorse any "blank check" of Executive Privelege that might offer him comfort and safety from the "Boogey Man" will invariably leave him with a Totalitarian Executive and NO civil rights -- such are the lessons of history which BM chooses to ignore for a "pretty face" and an "honest" smile!!!!

MindMechanic said...

Anon...you expressed your fear about a loss of rights, especially those rights you appear to believe you have lost during this time of war. On three seperate occasions I have IMPLORED you to address YOUR rights.

I responded to YOUR stated concerns about rights and all you EVER offered was "Where have I addressed the state of MY civil rights?"

Never once have you addressed an actual fear about an actual right that is actually being threatened.

In my response to TTP I stated that along with him, if there are in fact any identifiable threats of abuse they should be addressed. But...you have to actually HAVE SOMETHING to work on.

You are doing nothing more than all the other fear mongers...running about shrieking about the loss of civil rights and parroting complaints about the Patriot Act. Yet when directly asked you cant name one. Not one.

The boogy man got you.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...you expressed your fear about a loss of rights, especially those rights you appear to believe you have lost during this time of war. On three seperate occasions I have IMPLORED you to address YOUR rights.

I responded to YOUR stated concerns about rights and all you EVER offered was "Where have I addressed the state of MY civil rights?"

Never once have you addressed an actual fear about an actual right that is actually being threatened.

In my response to TTP I stated that along with him, if there are in fact any identifiable threats of abuse they should be addressed. But...you have to actually HAVE SOMETHING to work on.

You are doing nothing more than all the other fear mongers...running about shrieking about the loss of civil rights and parroting complaints about the Patriot Act. Yet when directly asked you cant name one. Not one.

The boogy man got you.

a quiet listener said...

sorry anonymous and brain mechanic. don't mean to step between your firefight...

i just thought it sad when strategos summed up the non-education he's receiving at school. after the semester's over don't you wonder "why did i pay 2000$ for that?", "what did i get out of it?" was it all so that you can one day be in the classroom or on films and speak in a reversal of roles? at the end of the semester instead of understanding the subject you seem to only have been taught what it isn't. doesn't that bug you? i'm just curious, but how would you teach the course differently? would you teach one viewpoint for several weeks as if you believed in that theory whole-heartedly and then switch to the next and let the students decide for themselves?

Anonymous said...

In May 2004, Professor Steve Kurtz of the University at Buffalo reported his wife's death of heart failure. The associate art professor, who works in the biotechnology sector, was using benign bacterial cultures and bilogical equipment in his work. Police arriving at the scene found the equipment (which had been displayed in museums and galleries thorughout Europe and North America) suspicious and notified the FBI. The next day the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Department of Homeland Security and numerous other law enforement agencies arrived in HAZMAT gear and cordoned off the block surrounding Kurtz's house, impounding computers, manuscripts, books, and equipment, and detaining Kurtz without charge for 22 hours;the Erie County Health Department condemned the house as a possible "health risk" while the cultures were analyzed. Although it was determined that nothing in the Kurtz's home posed any health or safety risk, the Justice Department sought charges under Section 175 of the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act --a law which was expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act. A grand juy rejected those charges, but Kurtz is still charged with federal criminal mail and wire fraud, and faces 20 years in jail. Supporteers worldwide argue that this is a politically motivated prosecution, akin to those seen during the era of McCarthyism, (Crucible Link) and legal observers note that it is a precedent-setting case with far-reaching implications involving the criminalization of free speeech and expression for artists, scientists, researchers, and others.

You know BM that when the Government can legally create secret courts with secret oversight by secret over seers and "hide" prisoners in "hidden" prisons, on the pretense of increased security IT CLEARLY CIRCUMVENTS CRUCIAL CIVIL RIGHTS What's more it makes the country look like a Nazi police state!!!!

I can fill up the blog with case after case -- you have a search engine too -- use it for something other than dissembling!

Cameron said...

I Googled the story and here are a few excerpts of what I found:

"For over a decade, Steve Kurtz and the Critical Art Ensemble have committed themselves as artists to raising public awareness of the consequences of science and technology on the public sphere. Often using a form of participatory theater, they have addressed the ethical and political dimensions of issues ranging from eugenics and the human genome project, to genetically engineered grains and agribusiness ("Free-Range Grains" is the title of a recent piece). Recently they decided to address the history of our own nation's complicity in the growing menace of bioterror. They may have intended to devote part of the May 30 show at MASS MoCA to that issue."

From his co-worker:

"considering the kind of art Kurtz practices and the kind of supplies he uses, "I could see how they would think it was really strange."

"they discovered laboratory equipment, petri dishes and experimental samples of the following bacteria: bacillus globigii, serratia marcensens and a genetically sterilized form of E. coli. They also found DNA extracting technology, as well as a range of publications addressing genetic engineering, the human genome project, bioethics, bioterrorism and biowarfare."

Efforts to get charges dropped before trial:

In these court papers, Cambria said federal agents unfairly tried to characterize Kurtz as a "bioterrorist" and asked the judge to dismiss the case for three key reasons:

* No actual crime was committed. "This was a small amount of harmless bacteria that was going to be used in an art exhibit to make a political point," Cambria said. "If the company that sold the bacteria feels its conditions were violated, they can sue. That doesn't make it a federal crime."

* Buffalo police and federal agents illegally searched Kurtz's home and his office computer at UB. Cambria stated there was "no probable cause" for search warrants because police had no proof any crime had been committed.

* Kurtz was questioned illegally, without being "fully advised" of his Miranda rights, by Buffalo police and the Joint Terrorism Task Force of Western New York. Kurtz's attorneys allege he was illegally "detained" for more than a day after agents came to his home, one day after his wife's death."

Prosecutor's response:

"Prosecutors say they charged Kurtz and Ferrell because they committed mail and wire fraud, breaking regulations designed to keep bacterial agents from getting into the wrong hands. They have not yet charged either with bioterrorism."

reference
reference
reference

MindMechanic said...

Anon...

Now THATS a legitimate concern.

Of course...lets be honest.When the police are called in on the death of ANY young woman that just "stops breathing" they are going to be suspicious. That he had bacteria, ecoli samples, and other biological spores in his kitchen in the house where the woman died...THAT is going to raise suspicion as well. Now...I followed up on Cameron's sources...

1-His friend that was with him from the beginning said the FBI agents were polite and courteous. They paid for a hotel room while his home was being checked by a biological inspection team (NOT a shock considering the biochem materials on hand...right?)

2-When the two were questioned, by HER ADMISSION they were allowed not to answer questions. When they spoke to a lawyer the lawyer said they should leave and they did.

3-The FBI investigated for 5 days and turned things back over. The autopsy was conducted by the state. Buffalo city legal officials decided there was evidence of mail fraud.

As Cameron stated, the federal government did NOT prosecute.

I can TOTALLY agree with you that governments and police officials act irresponsibly. It was only a few months ago that a police officer in California was filmed pulling over a car, ordering the passenger out of the car, the passenger informed the cop that he was a military police officer and totally willing to comply, made no agressive moves, raised his arms and backed out of the car as ordered, and then the cop opened fire. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11136046/

So abuses by government agents are REAL. I disagree that it is a result of some evil effort by the government to usurp the rights of individuals. I DO agree it is a testamony to the age old saying absolute power corrupts absolutely.

(and for grins, I can tell you several stories about the Layton city police officers that will boil your blood as well...no homeland security involvement required...

MindMechanic said...

Anon...on this I disagree...

"when the Government can legally create secret courts with secret oversight by secret over seers and "hide" prisoners in "hidden" prisons, on the pretense of increased security IT CLEARLY CIRCUMVENTS CRUCIAL CIVIL RIGHTS"

The individuals involved here are terrorists. They are not enemy combatants. They are people that train how to best slaughter innocent men, women, and children.

We may disgree...but if you are asking me if I think it is justified to take a terrorist caught in the field, violate his civil rights, and prevent him and his allies from being able to load up liquid chemicals into bottles, booby trap their own babies for crying out loud, and then blow up 10 planes and kill approximately 3000 people...yeah. I'm fine with that. These animals will gladly do what it takes to kill as many as they can, and I think it is our job to do whatever is needed to stop them. We wont stop them by playing by civil rules. We will stop them by being ruthless. I have a surefire suggestion for them to not fear having their 'rights' violated...stop killing people.

And since MY methods are barbaric...I want to hear YOUR solutions.

Cameron said...

"create secret courts with secret oversight by secret over seers and "hide" prisoners in "hidden" prisons"


"Secret" and "Hidden" do not describe Steve Kurtz's case. Not when it is so easily found and discussed in this medium in a matter of minutes. It is not comparable to Communism, Muslim extremism, Fidel Castro-ism, or even South American socialism. When Mr. Kurtz dissapears never to be heard from or seen again, then Anon's comments will be valid. Until then, they are merely hyperbole.

Cameron said...

I do not deny that it seems as though Mr Kurtz's case merits scrutiny. But I do understand law enforcement's concern upon walking into a house full of science experiments and bio-weapons research. Not to mention a dead body.

Cameron said...

An excerpt from the AP story on WMD's I linked to above:

"The facts are that Iraq — after a four-year hiatus in cooperating with inspections — acceded to the U.N. Security Council's demand and allowed scores of experts to conduct more than 700 inspections of potential weapons sites from Nov. 27, 2002, to March 16, 2003. The inspectors said they could wrap up their work within months. Instead, the U.S. invasion aborted that work."

The inspectors thought they could be done inspecting in a matter of months? Why was Hussein so compliant after a decade of evasion?

This whole article really ticks me off. It is one of the most obviously biased pieces I have read. It's goal is not to inform, but to influence. To me, its tone taints everything written in it.

Anyhow, it had always been my understanding that not only were no WMD's found, but that no evidence of their destruction had been found either. I've read that if they had been destroyed, there would have to be signs of it. Can someone corroborate that for me?

MindMechanic said...

No Patriot Act involvement whatsoever...

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060913/NEWS02/609130320

MindMechanic said...

The ISG site that is listed earlier states it believes "all, most, or some" of the WMDs were destroyed. The final report says it cant verify because there are no records and it cant verify because there is no way of knowing just what exactly there was.

In a Fox article recently posted by someone here it there is a link to a report from a government office that states that there have been over 500 chemical weapons found since the war with Iraq ended in 2003. Some are quick to say that they are remnants of a bygone era.

I think it is obvious proof that Iraq did not in fact destroy ALL their weapons, it is unlikely that they destroyed MOST of their weapons, and it is a huge leap of faith to assume they destroyed even SOME of their weapons.

MindMechanic said...

Cameron,

go back and google Bill Clinton, quotes on Iraq. What you will find is NUMEROUS times Clinton making comments directly stating Iraq had WMDs (thats allegedly why he attacked in 1998, some 7 years after the ISG claims Iraq had already destroyed their weapons. You will find statements by Clinton and Cohen and even Albright stating that Iraqi officials denied the UN inspectors entrance to sites for 8 years. Cohen specifically cited an account where satellite recon showed UN inspectors being held at the front gates to a facility while Iraqis moved a caravan out the back gate, then the UN inspectors were allowed entrance.

"I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out." -- Clinton's Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

This garbage went on for 12 years. The UN passed 17 different resolutions demanding complaince. All Bush did was enforce what should have been enacted after Saddam failed to comply with the FIRST UN resolution.

Even the ISG repost which anon mentioned specifically states that Iraq was using Oil For Food program money and bribing UN security council members.

It should come as no shock that there are conflicting data about this mess. It was a cluster throughout the 90s.

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/meast/9812/10/iraq.02/
http://www.cnn.com/US/9812/16/clinton.iraq.speech/
http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp

truth to power said...

Schools have it very hard. The kids have to be there, and the school has to try to educate them. Parents, students, teachers, administrators, politicians, taxpayers, experts, and the ACLU are always telling them how to do it. Trying to take a position in any dispute always costs the school a lot of money.

The Lincoln Park school district thought it had finally found a way to save time and money on "free-speech" disputes over the dress code: just ban all t-shirts with pictures or words.

Alas, it was not to be. Once again, resources allocated for educational purposes are diverted to something else.

Surely there must be some way for us to move our political and social conflicts to a less-vulnerable battlefield than the schools.

"Won't someone PLEASE think of the children?!!"

MindMechanic said...

Truth...brother...I feel ya. Except of course, the barrage that is downward directed at the students doesnt ever seem to be impeded. On a national day of remeberance a student wears a patriotic message and is sent home. Now...how many teachers get sent home for spewing leftist hatred and indoctrinating children?

Look...I am all for the concepts you are talking about. TEACH the children. Create an atmosphere and environemtn for learning.

Engage families in ensuring the students are engaged! How about THAT one...

Anonymous said...

BM
Posts:
"The individuals involved here are terrorists. They are not enemy combatants."

With Secret courts and secret tribunals and covert testimony and secret "trials" that are off the public record and defendants who often cannot know what they are being charged with and prisoners being held for unspecified times --how is it possible to assert that, "the individuals are terrorists and are not enemy combatants????

How do you know? How would you ever find out?

When you believe THAT , you are handing the administration another BLANK CHECK.

To cut down American hard won beliefs in justice and fair play to wreck vengeance on subhuman terrorists is NOT a patriotic act to be celebrated with macho chest thumping. Rights of Due process are at the heart of what it means to be an American. Killing terrorists gives them what they want -- DUE PROCESS them with justice THEN kill them!!!!

truth to power said...

If killing terrorists gives them what they want, then maybe it's better to keep them in Gitmo permanently.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...you may be missing this...

I have never suggested a blank check. You made assertions about loss of freedoms. My SOLE intent was to get you to engage. You presented an article actually citing an abuse. ALRIGHT...NOW we have somthing to work with that isnt mere hype and rhetoric!

I believe it was TTP that mentioned fears about the Patriot Act and a government run amok, and I requested that TTP to specify which fears and concerns where there need to be addressed.

I dont rubber stamp the government. I have seen abuses in the local government. Heck, we can go back to Ruby Ridge and Waco if you want to talk about administrations run amok and violating citizens civil rights.

All I want...all I YEARN for is an INTELLIGENT response. We can learn from each other when we talk about things. We cant when it is this mindless back and forth blather.

Now...regarding secret tribunals and the like...

The Patriot Act was formed using the standards established in the 1970s and 80's by government agencies fighting organized crime. The RICO statutes provided EXACTLY the same types of investigation rules. When the intended target was Guido Bagadonuts we didnt hear a lot of complaints or fears about their civil rights even though we used warrantless wiretaps, no notice entry and search tactics etc.

There IS a judge assigned that reviews their processes and procedures. They do NOT empanel grand juries nor do they seek permission from congress. When these searches are conducted here the government still has to show just cause and that has to be approved by a judge. Thats fact...look it up.

As to the secret tribunals for the enemy combatants caught in the field...do you know the process that is involved for someone to land at GITMO? I do. They have to go through THREE seperate military 'trials' to determine if these people are actual terrorists and...AND...possess probably information value. I AM comfortable with that process...especially when the 'victim' is an enemy combatant caught in the field.

However...I will give you your point that there IS a valid concern which you have addressed. Now...

How would YOU see this war on terror engaged?

Specifically when terrorist A is caught, terrorist A is found to have bomb making materials and there is ample evidence that terrorist A has been provided materials and supplies to other terrorists, but is NOT violating US law...

What would you do once you caught him?

Cameron said...

I've been reading the Iraq Survey Group report. To answer my own question as to why Saddam was suddenly helpful after a decade of deception is that he was fully expecting UN sanctions to be lifted. His plans for after their lifting? Work like crazy to make WMD's.

Also, the IRG report details what a fiasco the Oil For Food program was. If the report is accurate, Iraq really was hurt by the UN sanctions. Then OFF bailed them out. Through this program Saddam basically bought off France, China and Russia- all members of the UN Security Council, all capable of eventually easing or even lifting the sanctions. Again, his plans for after the sanctions? More WMD's.

Anonymous said...

BM

I would like to respond to BM's "terrorist A" hypothetical.

"Terrorist A is caught . . . terrorist A is not violating US law."

Then how can terrorist A be CAUGHT? In what sense is he "caught" if he is not doing something against the law? Also, if A IS a "terrorist" he is already guilty by presumption -- HE IS A TERRORIST!

"Terrorist A is providing materials and supplies" ?

What kind of materials and supplies? . . . Skittles and Pepsis or what?

Presumably if A is a terrorist, he/she has violated U.S. law!!!!

What would I do????

Well, first I would try to make sense out of gibberish.

Then, probably, I would throw up my hands in exasperation.

However, I COULD see the BM question in the light of a larger problem.

That problem is image.

BM can hardly restrain himself -- he (probably not personally) wants to splatter "terrorist" "pink meat" all over the Middle East because, on a basic level, it is so satisfying to give in to vindictive impulses.

However, a nation of laws and Due process forces revenge to take a back seat to the JUST, RATIONAL processes of discretion and fair play.

The SLOPPY THINKING scenario BM offers is symptamatic of the much larger problem of so many who react to terrorism the same way.

It is repulsive to me to hear the celebration of justice and TRADITIONAL American Values descibed as WEAK!!!!

TTP:
"Keeping them in GITMO indefinitely". . . seems to be what the Administration wants to do with SUSPECTS not with CONVICTED terrorists. (See Senator McKain)

MindMechanic said...

Anon...assume terrorist A is caught in a raid in Tikrit. The equipment and supplies are guns and bombmaking materials. US officials are conducting the raid but as we are not at war with Iraq US officials have no official jurisdiction.

I am assuming you are sincere in this exchange and not just being obstinate.

MindMechanic said...

BTW anon...I'll ignore your hate speech. You dont know me. You know nothing about me. You cant know my respect for Islam, for the people that practice non-fundamentalist, non-extremist Islam. You may or may not know of the associations I have made over the years in numerous Arabic countries. You may or may not know the honor that is bestowed on a non-arab when a muslim invites you into your home, offers you meals with his family, discusses family matters and exchanges family photos. I am fortunate enough to have had that honor.

You probably cant reconcile the above with a person that at the same time knows what it is like to pick up a boot with a foot still in it. To walk through a bombed home and still smell the explosive residue mixed with charred flesh. To sit down and just hold the hand of a little turkish boy that has just become an orphan for no explainable reason. And lots of other treasured moments that I doubt you can understand.

In spite of that I dont hate arabs. I dont hate muslims. I dont LIKE any of this. But I DO recognize the enemy. The enemy you and I face see's it as honorable to booby trap their own children and send them in to markets to kill innocent and unarmed muslims. The enemy we face thinks it is glorious to slaughter children in schools, or to attack families in marketplaces.

The enemy LOVES negotiations because it shows that his opponent is weak. The enemy wont honor his word or commitment. The enemy we face doesnt WANT peace, he wants our death. You cant negotiate with that. You have two options. Win or lose. Kill or die.

The enemy is real. I dont LIKE the fact that we have to face him, but I wont HIDE from that fact. The only way I know how to fight a ruthless enemy is to be MORE effective in my ruthless response. To be vigilant, aggressive, and yes...by God, ruthless.

If you have another way, I am open to your suggestions.

truth to power said...

I like to think that I'm still open-minded about this, but I have yet to be convinced that the right way to treat terrorists is as if they were criminals. I don't know that our established criminal justice system (at least, the civilian one) can deal appropriately with this situation. Obviously, the administration insists that it can't.

Do we really know all the reasons why the administration doesn't want these detainees to be tried by our civilian criminal courts, with full constitutional protections and rights? Besides the reasons of national security the government offers and its political opponents so casually dismiss, I can think of more possibilities.

It seems evident that those who would offer legal representation to the detainees would be highly politically motivated and do everything possible to subvert the trials. For some people, "Bush bad" justifies an awful lot of anti-American stuff they would never contemplate were their own guy in power.

Go ahead, try to convince me that we should try captured terrorists as criminal suspects. I'm willing to consider it.

Anonymous said...

TTP and BM
SUSPECTS SUSPECTS, SUSPECTS, are NOT captured terrorists BEFORE just due process -- why is this such a hard concept for you and BM?-- AFTER due process they MAY be found to be TERRORISTS, but certainly NOT before!!!!

You guys sound like Judge Roy Bean with his "Hang 'em first, try 'em later." concept of JUSTICE in "only law West of the Pecos (Baghdad)".

Hate speech?

Identify all the bigoted slurs, homophobic epithets and/or sexist names I used -- otherwise withdraw your accusation -- actually find out the meaning of the word.

TTP Posts:

"It seems evident that those who would offer legal representation to the detainees would be highly politically motivated and do everything possible to subvert the trial."

THEN

"I like to think that I am still open minded."

WOW, it really IS Judge Bean (who had no concept of REAL JUSTICE, because to him it was just ruthless, arrogant self-indulgence) who's come back to life.

Are you such a weak Patriot TTP that you cannot even endorse basic AMERICAN Civil and Human Rights????

MindMechanic said...

Sorry Anon...I consider that hate speech. I dont WANT to splatter anything. I dont WANT to have to fight this war.

You know who DOES like the thought of splattering blood all over the middle east? The terrorists that looked right in the camera, chanted glory to Allah, all the while slowly hacking the head off an American non-combatant.

Reason with them.

"BM can hardly restrain himself -- he (probably not personally) wants to splatter "terrorist" "pink meat" all over the Middle East because, on a basic level, it is so satisfying to give in to vindictive impulses."

Last I checked pretty much every single prisoner held at Gitmo with VERY few exceptions is NOT of American birth. If they ARE of American birth and are captured in foreign lands engaging in terrorist acts then they deserve to be there.

Until you (and not surprisingly, the democrat politicians you emulate) can provide more of an answer than angry hate filled rhetoric you will prove why the left can never be trusted with the security of the country.

truth to power said...

"Innocent until proven guilty" is an interesting concept. It's sort of a legal fiction, one which must be honored by a jury in rendering its verdict. When you sit on a criminal jury, the question before you is not whether the defendant is guilty, but whether the prosecution has met its burden.

But outside of jury duty we don't always have to pretend that we don't know a defendant is guilty. When a judge sets bail he bases his decision both on the strength of the prosecution's case and the nature of the charge itself. The cops don't always refer to "suspects"; sometimes they talk about "perps". Nor am I obligated to refer to the terrorists we have captured as "suspects".

As I've said before, I believe in the Bill of Rights, but I don't believe it should *automatically* apply to the terrorists. I realize the courts have interpreted such phrases as "the people" in the Constitution as applying to everyone who happens to be here, but I'm not sure that's the best idea.

Anonymous, believe it or not, my mind really isn't made up on this particular question: Should we try these terrorists as ordinary criminals? The administration has been trying to convince us all that we shouldn't. You still haven't tried to convince me that we should.

MindMechanic said...

truth...I wont try to convince you. If you have the stomach for it, look at the video of the terrorists beheading and mutilating Nick Berg, Paul Johnson, Wassef Hassan, Shosei Koda, and others. Hussein Fahemi proudly boasts of his role in performing 116 beheadings. Adnan Elias joyously recounts beheading one victim and stuffing his body full of explosives so as to kill others as they reclaimed his body.

The terrorists arrested in England were planning on using their own babies as cover for killing as many as 3000 people.

This story gives an account of islamic terrorists raping and then beheading children. http://www.hvk.org/articles/0806/171.html

"Islamic terrorists today raped and beheaded two Hindu children and their mother in Hara Village, Udhampur district, 200 Kms away from Jammu.

The victims have been identified as Neelam Singh (10), Meena Devi (14), and their mother Sumitra Devi (40). The whereabouts of Ram Singh, the husband of Neelam Singh is still not known. Police suspects the militants would have kidnapped and killed Ram Singh.

Militants barged into their house in Hara late on Thursday night. The house was accessible only after a 15-km trek through thickly forested hills from the nearest road at Gool.

Hindus have been a target of militants in the Jammu and Kashmir for the last two decades. On the night of April 30, militants killed 35 Hindus in Basantgarh of Udhampur district and Kulhand of Doda district.

About a month ago, four members of two Hindu families were also killed in the state's Poonch district.

As on today more than 35000 Hindus were killed in Jammu & Kashmir."

I could go on and on...but why?

Its not necessarily that beheading is worse than other means of slaughtering human beings. Dead is dead, right?

The difference is what this act says about what I hope by now people recognize as our enemy. This act isnt death by sniper or by roadside bombs. This is hands on slaughter. This shows the depth of depravity they are capable of.

I'm sure this makes me come across as melodramatic. Fine...I'll accept that. It doesnt change the fact that it is honest and true. These ARE the people that believe with all their heart that it is their right, destiny and under Allah their order to kill anyone that doesnt comply with their faith. This is the enemy.

Treat them how you will.

Anonymous said...

". . . to be vigilant, aggressive, and by God ruthless" BM#1

vs

"I don't want to splatter anything, I don't want to fight this war" BM#2

Now, my "splatter" comment was in response to BM#1 who ONLY wants to splatter TERRORISTS unless his splattering becomes so enthusiastic that he can move on to some "collateral damage splattering" -- might the words vigilant, aggressive, and RUTHLESS involve any splattering of TERRORISTS and/or Collateral damage? If not I humbly apologize -- but, it seems so to meeeeee.

Also posted:
"last I checked, with very few exceptions, every prisoner held at GITMO is not of American birth."

Sooooo? -- let's hear the other shoe drop, -- it's ok to do whatever in the hell we want???? Torture? OK, not US citizen. Hold for years without trial? OK, not US Citizen.

TTP and BM seem to advocate abrogating laws in order to achieve ends that THEY believe worth the price. This brings to mind an exchange in Robert Bolt's play, "A Man For All Seasons" in which Thomas More talks with his ambitious underling William Roper.

Roper: "So now you'd give the devil benefit of law?"

More: "Yes, which would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the devil?"

Roper: "I'd cut down every law in England to do that."

More: "Oh, and when the last law was down, and the devil turned on you, where would you hide, Roper, all the laws being flat? This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, Man's laws not God's, and if you cut them down -- AND YOU'RE JUST THE MAN TO DO IT -- do you really think that you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?
Yes I would give the devil benefit of law for MY OWN SAFETY'S SAKE."

!!!!

MindMechanic said...

Read the emphasis, Anon. I dont WANT to. But I will. I have. I will again if I have to. But I dont WANT to.

And I have still yet to see you offer your version of succesfully prosecuting a war against terrorists.

Anon...I dont make any bones about it. WHATEVER it takes to combat these animals, I am willing to do. I support.

The stuff you saw in the pictures at Abu Ghraib were commited by foolish and stupid people who abused their positions of power. They werent designed to gain information, they were designed to denigrate and provide the jailers perverse pleasure. The people that perpetrated those acts did more harm to the US soldiers in Iraq than anything I can imagine and I am glad they were tried. If I were in charge I would have turned them over to the Iraqi government. I mean that.

The 'torture' interrogations of known Al Qaida terrorists for the sake of information gathering are far more effective. And those doing the interrogations dont take pictures. You have a problem with that. I do not.

The interrogation you so despise produced information that stopped a chemical attack in Jordan. If they had been able to fullfill their mission it is estimated they would have killed anywhere between 20,000 to 60,000 people.
http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,117414,00.html

Similar attacks were thwarted in England and Spain. The death tolls are not expected to have been as severe, but still tragic.

To put it in perspective, imagine a full UofU Rice-Eccles stadium (I know its a stretch...but imagine anyway). Imagine every single one of the people in that stadium dead. Thats your picture. Thats what was prevented because of the 'torture' of captured terrorists.

Yep. I'm an evil guy, but thats worth it in my book.

But make no mistake. I dont WANT to have to do it. If our enemy (OUR enemy, anon...your enemy and my enemy) were to simply end this doctrine of death we wouldnt have to fight it. Until then. Fight it or dont. Win or lose. The implications are both obvious and dramatic.

Cameron said...

BM,

Your words have been very stirring. I can't say that I disagree. You are very adept at reminding us all who the terrorists are, and how much they hate the United States. I have come across many who believe it is our fault that we are hated. They say that it is US foreign policy that has created Islamic hatred for the US. They say our involvement in Iraq, and the prisoners kept in Guantanomo, only causes more hatred, and more violence.

This week I have let my thoughts wander on the events of Sep 11. I looked back, like everyone else, on where I was and what I was doing. I think everyone has the same feelings about that day. I believe there are few in this country or in this forum that don't despise the acts of the terrorists and the terrorists themselves.

But somewhere along the line a disconnect occured. As our nation's thoughts turned to Iraq, we slowly became more divided. Our anger at terrorists was replaced by anger at politicians. President Bush has become a caricature of a human in many people's eyes. It is easy to strike out at him because few will ever get to face him. And few will ever have to make the same choices as him. Second guessing makes people feel important, and in our political arena, can actually make them be important.

Many scream that we had no business invading Iraq. The lack of large WMD discoveries have made the screaming louder, and have made converts of previous supporters of the war. But was that the only reason for invasion? To find WMD's?

Many scream that we had no business invading Iraq because Osama bin Laden doesn't live there. Is that all the War on Terror means? Finding Osama?

When the towers fell on September 11, 2001 I was a very young man. I was mildly interested in world events, and mostly ambiguous concerning politics. The shock of being attacked and seeing thousands of people die awakened me somewhat. The screaming that has occured since then has awakened me more.

I despise the screaming. The screamers talk of our government as something evil. They speak of liberty and civil rights, but as they scream they are anything but civil. I feel that the humility and condescension on which our government was formed has been lost in the lust for power and political gain.

I try to stay out of the screaming. I try to make informed decisions. I enjoy political and social discussion for the information it brings to me, and the help it gives me in forming my own opinions.

But it is hard to do it amidst the screaming. Searching for answers is hard when much of the information available is tainted by bias. I have lately noticed how now both sides of debates scream media bias. I can't disagree. I think the media in general is broken. It is largely our fault. We as the public devour whatever is fed us. We have asked for editorial news instead of reported news, and that is what we have been given. It was disheartening to me to first read of the Iraq WMD report in a newspaper article aimed at belittling those that believe Iraq had WMD's, and then to read the actual report detailing how no one but Saddam himself really knows what they had. They do conclude however, that his intentions were clearly to bribe his way out of UN sanctions and then to begin again to stockpile weapons of mass destruction. Why was this not reported? Why are we given limited sound bites of the original report, just enough to fuel the screaming? Why are we content with just enough to fuel our own screaming?

And what of the terrorists? What of our righteous anger toward them? Where did it go? Why do we not seem to believe bin Laden when he says to the camera that the west must be overun? Why do we not see his brand of politics and rise up against it?

I despise the animals that would behead a human being. I despise the animal that killed hundreds of thousands of his own people, and when questioned about it simply said it was his duty and right as president. I despise the animal that orchestrated the worst attack ever carried out on American soil, not against a military but against innocent and unsuspecting civilians. I despise this same man that called for mass genocide in Sudan. I despise the followers and wanna-be followers of this man wherever they may be. They are haters of liberty and religion. And they are all the same man, wherever they may be.

MindMechanic said...

Cameron

Thanks for your kind words and yours are very powerful as well.

History is a wonderful teacher if we will only but learn from it. In spite of the political rhetoric that says Bush and America' foreign policy are the cause of terrorism, the facts are that of course that is untrue. Bush was not president in 1993 when Islamic terrorists sponsored by Iraq attempted to blow up the Twin Towers. They werent thwarted...just incompetent. Does that mean then that Clintons foreign policy caused it? Of course not...because islamic terrorists have been engaging in terrorism for decades. Bush was also not the president when islamic terrorists on the Achille Lauro executed a wheelchair bound 69 year old man.

What seperates me from anonymous is experience. I have absolutely no doubt that if anon was married and lived in a home with his wife and several children that he would do any and everything in his power to protect his family. If one day he were to wake and find that several people had invaded his home with the intent to rape and slaughter his wife and children and then him, I fully believe that he would act with extreme prejudice to protect his family. If he were able to subdue one and knew there were still others threatening his family I dont for a second believe that he wouldnt put his boot to the throat of the one he had to force from him information that would save his children. He wouldnt wait for the police nor for the trial. He would act. Thats what ANY honorable person would do when his or her family was being threatened.

He just doesnt draw the same parallel that I do. I dont fault him for that. I dont despise him for that. I dont denigrate his beliefs.

I really dont, anon.

I just view the situation differently then you. I hope SINCERELY that you dont have to face it up close and personally. I have no doubt that if you ever do, you will do what you believe to be the right thing.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

I’ve read your dialogue with the BrainMechanic with interest. You post:

SUSPECTS SUSPECTS, SUSPECTS, are NOT captured terrorists BEFORE just due process -- why is this such a hard concept for you and BM?-- AFTER due process they MAY be found to be TERRORISTS, but certainly NOT before!!!!

You also post:

Are you such a weak Patriot TTP that you cannot even endorse basic AMERICAN Civil and Human Rights????

Is a patriot now defined as someone willing to grant civil rights to terrorists? Is patriotism now defined by providing due process in a United States court to a terrorist? If so, then I am no a patriot.

Did terrorists grant civil rights to Nicolas Berg? Did terrorists grant rights to Leon Klinghoffer? Did terrorist grant civil rights to 3000 Americans in the World Trade Center? I feel so much safer and more civilized in the knowledge that we let 200 terrorists live because they were at a cemetery!

Why are we required to grant rights to barbarians? Do terrorists wear uniforms? How are our soldiers and civilians treated if they are taken prisoner? Will our soldiers and civilians be treated more humanly if the prisoners at Gitmo gain 25 pounds during their stay rather than the measly 20 that they are adding during the average stay right now?

Will the world suddenly view us differently in the rhetoric we hear plastered all over the media? Will the world suddenly love us the way Democrats so desperately want to be loved? Why do we care what the French think?

The BrainMechanic clearly grasps who the enemy is on foreign soil. But who is the enemy at home? I wonder why terrorists gather at cemeteries with no fear of reprisal. I wonder why terrorists have little fear of their comrades giving information as prisoners. I wonder why the cell phone is the preferred method of communication among terrorists on foreign soil.

Can you explain this to me, Anonymy?

Anonymous said...

BM
Posts:

"What separates me from anon is experience."

Yes, -- by my guess -- 30 to 40 years!!!!

Now play your NEXT card in this all too familiar Lysis/GWB/Rovian GAMBIT.

"Then, for not agreeing with BM's astounding drivel you must be:

A. A coward
B. A terrorist
C. A man without Honor
D. A Liberal, Commy, Pinko SCUM
E. Of course, no question, ALL of
the above!

Yes, play THAT card, that's my favorite ONE!!!! Then we will COUNT the cards after we play "52 pick up".

Anonymous said...

Rump:

Who are these "terrorists gathering at cemeteries"? Why didn't you report them?

How do you know that terrorists do not fear that other terrorist friends will not reveal information? Are you a terrorist sympathizer? Do YOU know terrorist "inside" information?

Do you know terrorist information that has not been revealed? Are your friends terrorist sympathizers?

Do YOU own a cell phone? Is it YOUR preferred method of communication while in this country?

Can you explain this to me Rump?

MindMechanic said...

anon...again..you are simply too quick to seek a fight.

Experience...I'd guess more like 20 years...but it is still significant.

As for your "cowardice" I can only assume you missed my posting where I quite sincereley stated that you were NOT in fact a coward, weak, brainless, or anything else. I stated that I believed when pressed I am CERTAIN you would respond in what you would find an appropriate manner to protect the people that you love.

The whole intent of my posting was to draw the parralel and allow for the experience factor. That I have picked up the pieces from the carnage we are discussing doesnt make me better or wiser...and I have never tried to assert otherwise. It just gives us a different perspective.

Here is the irony...

YOU are the one in this encounter that is ALWAYS quick to war. You ALWAYS seek and find offense. I find that not a little bit funny.

MindMechanic said...

More, in the realm of irony...

The pope gives a speech at a conference on bringing the religions of the world together in peace. He invites all religions to denounce violence committed in the name of God. He cites reference to past actions of all religions. In the course of the discussion he quotes (and STATES his source) a 14th century text that describes the muslim actions as being driven by violence. The historical conditions during the 14th century where that at the time the muslims were setting about to conquer all of Europe.

Now...today...muslims are ANGRY that their prophet is related to or connected with the concept of conversion at the hand of the sword. In response the worlds muslim leaders threaten...violence.

ummmmmmm....wait a second...

OK...isnt it a fact that only 2 weeks ago two journalists were given the choice...convert or die?

Isnt it a fact that just a few short months ago over 100 people were killed because of a few cartoons?

Did we not just read yesterday that Al Qaida...a muslim terrorist group...joined with an Algerian terrorist group and jointly declared jihad on France?

Dont we hear daily the exortion of muslims to murder in the name of Allah?

NO...it is NOT ALL MUSLIMS and of course the Pope RECOGNIZED that in his appeal to muslims. YES there are good and honest muslims that practice an honorable and peaceful faith.

But some of the muslim extremist fundamentalists apparently didnt get the memo....

And unfortunately there are a LOT of them.

Anonymous said...

Rump
Posts:
"Is a patriot someone willing to grant Civil rights to terrorists?"

NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

SUSPECTS, SUSPECTS, SUSPECTS SUSPECTS (I tried three last time, maybe four will work)

Is it possible to have a discussion about LAW and about the "disposal" of those SUSPECTED, SUSPECTED, SUSPECTED, SUSPECTED of complicity in terrorism without BM wraping himself in his "flag of greater experience" and going through the graphic roll call of the horrors of terrorism? EVERYTHING BM has recounted many, many, many times does not make it more TRUE or more HORRIFYING. It just turns something unspeakable into a commodity for shock value and chest-thumping mindlessness.

I saw the planes on 9/11, I can't watch it again. I heard the screams and the choking on blood of Berg -- I need NOT watch the video thirty times to enrage me further -- my imagination is seered with the horror.

But yes, an AMERICAN Patriot IS willing to grant Civil Rights to SUSPECTS, knowing that some, through the purifying effects of DUE PROCESS, some, even most, perhaps all, will be JUSTLY PROVEN to be terrorists.

Because that is what makes Americans great and what makes American justice GREAT.

And also,what makes the US DIFFERENT than the terrorists!!!!

MindMechanic said...

Meanwhile...

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23366969-details/Anger+over+Church+advert+which+puts+Jesus'+face+on+beer+glass/article.do

Some of this stuff you just cant make up. I wonder if the extremists from the Christian world will go on a rampage and commit murder and mahem at the denigration of their savior...

An advertisement featuring the face of Jesus as a 'miraculous' apparition on a beer glass has caused anger among critics who say it undermines anti-binge drinking campaigns.

More amazing spiritual stories here...

• Pope to inspect 'image of Christ on veil'

• Holy toast: Sandwich sells for £15,000

• Heavenly chocolate is the Virgin Mary

• Our Lady of the underpass

• The alligator's skin that spells God

• Face of Jesus seen in baby scan

The image of Jesus in the froth left on the sides of an almost empty pint glass next to the words 'Where will you find him?' will spearhead the Churches' Advertising Network (CAN) festive campaign to encourage church-going this Christmas.

The poster makes reference to the worldwide trend for finding holy images in everyday objects from the face of Jesus in a frying pan, to Christ on a fish finger, the Virgin Mary on a toasted cheese sandwich and even Mother Teresa in a cinnamon bun.

The creators of the new poster said it was aimed at provoking "thought and debate" among young people about where and how people find God. It would be accompanied by a series of radio advertisements in which young people talk about their spiritual beliefs.

But the Rev Tom Allen, a 'mission priest' who works with young people criticised the message the image was giving out: "On the day when a Government commissioned report suggests that rather focus on drugs education, schools and youth work bodies should be educating young people about drink, CAN launch this particularly obtuse poster," he said on his website.

However, CAN chairman Francis Goodwin said he hoped the poster and radio advertisements would spark a debate about God.

The campaign will use the youth forum website myspace.com to encourage discussion. He said: "The message is subtle but simple - where is God in all the boozing at Christmas?

"For many, Christmas is just drinking and partying and God is excluded, yet many young people are interested in finding deeper meaning and exploring faith.

"We hope the link to myspace will offer another venue for them to discuss their feelings and debate the issues."

The image of Jesus on a beer glass is the latest in a series of controversial images created for CAN, a group of Christians of all denominations working in the media and advertising.

Previous campaigns include a poster depicting Jesus as the revolutionary leader Che Guevara and one suggesting Mary was having a "bad hair day" when she discovered she was pregnant.


Cmon...some times you just HAVE to laugh...

MindMechanic said...

Anon...call it what you will. The fact remains that had we not interrogated captured TERRORISTS we would not have been able to stop the chemical attacks in Jordan. As many as 60 thousand would have...not may have, would have...died.

Yes its graphic. Thats our reality. It describes our enemy and what they are capable of. I will sacrifice the rights of a terrorist captured in the field for the lives...not right, lives...of thousands and thousands of people.

Should your side win, I only hope that you find an actual PLAN to deal with the enemy in a way that is effective.

MindMechanic said...

"But yes, an AMERICAN Patriot IS willing to grant Civil Rights to SUSPECTS"

Anon-If that suspect held the key to the safety of your family...would you still honor his rights? If by honoring his rights you sacrificed your children to a horrible experience followed by a horrible death, what would you see when you looked in the mirror?

Yes...its a terribly graphic analogy and it gives you the luxury of taking the high road and saying that of course you would still honor his rights and when you looked at yourself in the mirror you would feel that your children siffured attrocities and death in the name of a greater cause...

...but thats not reality, is it. The reality is that you WOULD in fact do any and everything needed to protect your family. The right of the suspect in advance of due process would be secondary.

Little picture, big picture.

truth to power said...

Why should anyone refer to any of the captured terrorists as "suspects" (with any number of repetitions)? In making the policy decisions of how best to deal with these people, what possible purpose could there be in pretending that there is some question of the guilt of any of them?

So far, anonymous, your argument seems circular to me: we should grant these terrorists due process in our criminal court system because they are suspects who have not yet been given due process. It is so because it is so. Maybe it's not your objective to persuade anyone, but then why keep arguing?

MindMechanic said...

Oh...wait...epiphany...

We ARE bad, evil...wrong. Lets shut down the pristene cells (as opposed to the caves they were living in) at Gitmo. Lets stop giving these captured terrorists (you know...people from one country committing acts of terror against the occupants of another country) the horrible treatment the recieve at a US facility (prayer rights, council, 3 hot meals, etc).

In the name of decency I propose we ship them ALL back to Afghanistan and Iraq and let THEIR officials deal with them.

Anonymous said...

BM
"You are the one in this encounter always quick to war."

Are you speaking figuratively?

The Democratic Republic that I was born into requires PARTICIPA
TION in a marketplace of ideas. Americans have a 250 year CONTENTIOUS history, but also have a unique ability for negotiation and compromise.

Been down to the legislature lately? Looks like a WAR to me!!!!

MindMechanic said...

Actually and OBVIOUSLY I was speaking figuratively and of course you knew that.

I LOVE the exchange of ideas. I HATE mindless arguing. And I dont see a value to taking offense at any and everything just because it doesnt happily coincide with my positions and beliefs.

If this represents a new phase of our exchange of ideas (the actual definition of communication might be "the transfer of meaning" but exchange of ideas works for me) then I cant tell you how pleased that would make me.

I hope you get that throughout all the exchanges here I try desperately to not take things personally though occasionally I can see how I come across as doing so. And in fact I am sure I do from time to time.

That being said, I only know 1 person on this blog...and associate with none, so it is not effective to ever get angry or upset by anonymous entities. I try not tio give that kind of control to anyone.

And BTW...you want war in legislature watch the British parliament in action. Harrumph harrumph!!!

Anonymous said...

The attrubution "terrorist" is a designation, in the final analysis, that can only be made by a just court of law.

Beheading, commandeering 727's, shooting American soldiers and roadside bombs are ILLEGAL/CRIMINAL acts which should be dealt with effectively and quickly, and with extreme prejudice. However, there is nothing in these particular criminal offenses or ANY criminal offense that in its essence makes for a terrorist before due process.

While ANY criminal offense might also be found to be "terroristic" by a just trial, the ad hoc FINDINGS of the TRIAL itself has to make that crucial determination!!!!

Anonymous said...

BM
Response to another hpothetical scenario:

Honoring a suspects rights does not mean that a suspect, found innocent of terrorism, would NOW procede to jeopardize the safety of MY loved ones (Or anyone elses).

Honoring rights still will bring forth justly convicted terrorists who will be dealt with in such a way as to never jeopardize ANYONE'S safety again.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...why do I get the feeling that was a two step dance to avoid the real hypothetical?

Using your example posted earlier about the performance artist...OF COURSE he deserves due process. Now...if the FBI agents investigate the sudden and mysterious death of his previously healthy wife and find a variety of biological spores I doubt he should be shocked to find himself inconvenienced. According to one of the articles posted even his friends said they could undrestand why they would carefully investigate.

But he WAS checked out, the fed left him to the state and the state pursued a wire and mail fraud case. I dont know the particulars of that case.

So he did of course have due process. He wasnt sent to Gitmo. He wasnt tortured and ruthlessly interrogated.

Now...the other hypothetical I think is a little more to the point concerning what we have been discussing re captured terrorists, interrogation tactics, etc.

I have said clearly my position. If it was my family in jeapordy and the brutal interrogation of one suspect would bring about the safety of my family I have no qualms about stating I would not only approve but engage.

Would you?

Is it worth interrogating a captured terrorist of known intelligence value without due process? Is it ever justified?

MindMechanic said...

BTW...I disagree with your definition re when is a terrorist a terrorist. A terrorist is a terrorist when an Egyptian man leaves Egypt, goes to Baghdad, buiklds a bomb and then detonates it in a market full of civilians.

He/she is a terrorist when he/she commits the act. IMO.

MindMechanic said...

Isnt polling and reporting of polling an interesting 'science?'

This article out of Rochester New York states
"President George Bush is receiving his highest job performance numbers in a few months, with about four in 10 (38%) adults having a positive view (up from 34% in August) and 61 percent holding a negative
view."

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/09-15-2006/0004433769&EDATE=

OK...but further down we see the ACTUAL numbers...
Excellent 12%
Good 27%
ONLY FAIR 22%
Poor 38%
Undecided 1%

How did "only fair" become a negative view? As I see those numbers 39 say good or excellent, 22 say fair, and 38 say poor. I guess this gives truth to the saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

BTW...Harry Reid the head dem in the senate got
excellent 1%
Good 22%
Fair 37%
Poor %15
Not Sure 25%

According to this story, Harry only has a 23% approval rating. geez...smile, President Bush.

truth to power said...

Shooting American soldiers is a criminal act?

Maybe our problem was caused by the Cold War. We're more used to cloak-and-dagger threats than open hostilities. Oh, our military is still great at killing people and breaking things, but the decision making has gotten muddled.

When somebody shoots American soldiers, we're supposed to shoot back, not read them their rights.

Lysis said...

Bill Clinton betrayed America to the terrorists when he determined to treat their frantic decision to wage “Holy WAR” (their own words) on the West as criminal action.

Criminals commit crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of statutes – but Wars are different things and therefore must be fought in different ways. Calling proclaimed warriors, SUSPECTS, no matter how many times, does not make them such. These people were not arrested they were captured on the battlefield, they have not committed crimes, they are enemies that must be controlled until the utter and final defeat of their demonic ideology.

During the “great WWII” thousands of prisoners of war from Japan, Italy, and Germany were brought to America and “enslaved” on farms and factories to power the American war machine. They did not receive trials before they were sentenced to servitude – and they did not receive release until the instruments of surrender signed by their defeated governments bought their release by unconditional surrender. At which point many begged and won the privilege of staying in America rather than returning to the nations for which they had fought.

No better example in history can be proffered than that of the Vietnam War. In a life and death struggle with Communist murderers bent on destroying freedom and garnering power by the subjugation of the peoples of South East Asia – America choose to play by rules that only restricted American actions on the battlefield. It was not that military commanders sought to commit war crimes. They sought to fight a fair fight. They were not allowed to do so. Remember, it was the Communist that committed millions of atrocities – slaughtering not just villages but cities in their terror drive for power. But politician back here in America sought votes by pretending that it was the US that was at fault. They destroyed, first LBJ and then turned on Nixon. In the end it was the millions of Vietnamese and Cambodians that died. It is the Vietnamese people that still pay today for the decision of America to treat the War in Vietnam like a police action.

Flaccid, you are flat wrong. These monsters are not SUSPECTS they are terrorists, captured and held in the midst of war. They have not been tortured, murdered, or even set to work thinning beets. When time (and the Congress) permits they will be tried for any crimes they may have committed – but waging war on America is not a crime – it is something far more sinister. When the terrorist threat on Civilization has been destroyed, there will be time to deal with the repentant among America’s enemies. For years I lived down the street from a former Nazi fighter pilot. He had become an American citizen. He was never put on trial; but until his masters had burned in their bunker, he was not a SUSPECT, he was an enemy.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

You asked:

Who are these "terrorists gathering at cemeteries"? Why didn't you report them?

Sorry, someone beat me to it. It was reported, then picked up with film by ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, etc. I guess you missed it. I know this is from posting last year, but you must have missed it while you were riding your bike on the way to the library to use the computer.

You post: “How do you know that terrorists do not fear that other terrorist friends will not reveal information? Are you a terrorist sympathizer? Do YOU know terrorist "inside" information? Do you know terrorist information that has not been revealed? Are your friends terrorist sympathizers?”

From Richard Minter, NY Post, September 15, 2006:

“The politically correct regulations are unbelievable. Detainees are entitled to a full eight hours sleep and can't be woken up for interrogations. They enjoy three meals and five prayers per day, without interruption. They are entitled to a minimum of two hours of outdoor recreation per day.
Interrogations are limited to four hours, usually running two - and (of course) are interrupted for prayers. One interrogator actually bakes cookies for detainees, while another serves them Subway or McDonald's sandwiches. Both are available on base. (Filet o' Fish is an al Qaeda favorite.)”

Should I apologize for drawing conclusions on my own after reading the Post article? I think my conclusions more than are rational.

You post: “Do YOU own a cell phone? Is it YOUR preferred method of communication while in this country?”

Sure I own a cell phone. I would prefer not to. I hate the thing. It rings and then I answer. I have no fear, however, that my calls are being monitored if that is what you imply. That has only happened to terrorists with at least one end of the call on foreign soil. If you can prove otherwise, I would be delighted to pursue legal recourse.

You post: “Is a patriot someone willing to grant Civil rights to terrorists?
NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
SUSPECTS, SUSPECTS, SUSPECTS SUSPECTS (I tried three last time, maybe four will work)”

I get it. In fact, I got it.

You post further (and perhaps a little more articulately): “The attrubution "terrorist" is a designation, in the final analysis, that can only be made by a just court of law.”

I couldn’t disagree more. Reread Lysis’ most recent post for my view. I don’t want to be redundant.

You are right. Most Americans are different, in that they are lovers of freedom, and within the framework of the constitution they will defend that freedom, no matter the price.

MindMechanic said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MindMechanic said...

There is a point I meant to make and passed on earlier due to the direction things were going. I had just posted some very graphic examples of our enemy in this war on terror and Anon mentioned he saw the 9-11 video and has heard the screams of Nick Berg and didnt need to be reminded of them to know how horrible it was.

I guess I dont really disagree. One time seeing a death occur up close and in person should do it for anyone to know how ugly it is.

However, I DO think we as a country need to be reminded of our enemy in the war on terror. We talk about the "war in Iraq" as if it is a war WITH Iraq. That war ended in 2003. We are today at war with terrorists who happen to be pouring in from all around the middle east to engage in terrorist activity.

I often use the subtraction model when I am doing research on theory. In situation X, take away element y from the equation and see what remains. Now take away element z and see what remains. Its usually pretty easy to see your culprit.

In the most recent middle east conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, take away Israel and what remains? You still have groups of people dedicated to murdering others to further their own cause. Now, take away the muslim terror groups that are perpetrating acts of violence and what do you have? Peace.

Same theory applies in Iraq. Take away the US soldiers and what are you left with? Violent murderous thugs trying to prevent a people from forming a democracy. Now, take away the terrorists (sorry...they just cant be called insurgents) and what do you have? You have an Iraq that has a real shot at peace and democracy.

The common denominator? Its the same one in Blai, Spain, the Phillipines, Pakistan, England, and now most recently France. Extremist Islamic terrorists.

A friend of mine made a comment this week that I thought was telling. This individual is a good man who has known more than his share of pain and hurt. He knows what it feels like to have to bury a child. He said on monday that he was just sickened by this national day of 9-11...what on earth is it going to do for us? Then, on Tuesday he came in to work and said he had forgotten just how evil these terrorists are and how they will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals. How anyone can be their victim. He still doesnt like the war on terror and in fact had begun to think that it was time just to stop because it felt to him like we werent accomplishing anything. After taking the time and watching these different accounts, he changed his mind. More than ever he understands why this isnt a fight we can POSSIBLY stop fighting because it is a fight we cant afford NOT to win.

Thats why I think it is absolutely necessary to remind ourselves occasionally JUST how evil these people are. I dont WANT to have fight them in downtown Salt Lake City.

Make no mistake. We have extremist terrorists right here in the US today. Our government has stopped terror plots in Florida, California, Minnesota and many others. They have broken terrorist cells in Miami, Buffalo, and Oregon. But they ARE still here. Maybe we are a victim of our own success in this war on terror. Maybe preventing so many attacks has led to complacency. I hope not.

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