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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are Atlas witchhunts against socks worse than socks themselves? on: Today at 06:33:11 pm
2  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Japanese Foreign Policy under PM Shinzo Abe on: Today at 06:26:44 pm

That's the third time I've seen that word.  I call bullsh**t.  The word doesn't exist.  I know that you think that if you use a word often enough it works its way into Mirriam-Webster, and you're right.  It does happen frequently--language evolves--but this is one "word" that I hope doesn't make it.  It's really, really stupid.  Please find a real noun that already exists.  There are several that I could suggest that might encompass the concept that you are looking for.  I'd suggest a few but I won't for several reasons, not the least of which is that I don't want to insult your intelligence with the implication that you need me to.

3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How will the USA end? on: July 27, 2015, 04:57:07 pm
I have always assumed a gradual dissolution into anarchy, but I always assumed that a few new nations might emerge out of the chaos.  None would be as populous or as large or as influential as the USA.  Maybe LA and NY become stable corporatist oligarchies.  Southern New England becomes a radical nanny state.  The upper midwest becomes a socialist democracy.  The south, lower midwest, pacific northwest, middle atlantic, southwest, and intermontane west become a patchwork of warring states without stable governments.  I assume that something similar happens in most of the world as well.  China excepted, of course, as it will hold together by a combination of collectivism and force for however many millenia it takes for things to stabilize in the rest of the world.  

I also think that all this happens long after I am dead and buried.  During my lifetime, the USA will continue to evolve toward a more stable, more secure, less free, police state. 
4  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Japanese Foreign Policy under PM Shinzo Abe on: July 27, 2015, 10:36:10 am
The issue is that this is somebody who does not understand World War II ... as having represented any sort of significant moral failing on Japan's part ... and that because of this the implications and end goals of his policy go far beyond anything that could reasonably be construed as merely defending Japan's legitimate interests.

That's along the lines of what I was thinking as well. 

Voted horrible.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is there such a thing as "positive metal"? on: July 27, 2015, 10:27:58 am
Is there such a thing as "positive metal"?

Metals do have a tendency to form cations very readily. 

6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What term to you prefer for Great Britain, Ireland and surrounding islands on: July 27, 2015, 09:48:37 am
I just call it "England".

But that's rather like calling the Netherlands "Holland."  Lots of folks do it, even a few cartographers, but in Netherlands Holland refers only to two provinces, Noord Holland and Zuid Holland, within the Netherlands.  England is sort of like that.  It's only part of the larger of the islands.  

I think it's an interesting question, and one that I hadn't even thought of.  I'm not sure that I have ever referred to the British Isles by any name, but when I saw the question British Isles was the name that immediately came to mind--well, British Aisles came to mind, though I cannot remember why--making me think that this is the commonly-used term in the English Language.  After voting, I surfed into the same Wikipedia article posted later by politicus and saw that it's actually an ancient name, and one that predates the English language by several hundred years.  It should not be surprising, therefore, that it is overwhelmingly the option chosen by the voters herein.

According to that same article, "these islands" is the preferred phrase among some nationalists in Northern Ireland as well as in  in documents drawn up jointly between the British and Irish governments.  Makes sense.  Outside Ireland, however, I think the phrase British Isles must be overwhelmingly preferred, as is evidenced by this poll.  

The third option in the poll is unnecessarily ambiguous.  The second option is logical, but it is not the one that has been popularized.  Also, it has the disadvantage of losing Ireland.  People get tired of saying "this and that" and it invariably gets shortened to "this" only.  I don't know anyone from "Trinidad and Tobago" but I have met several people from Trinidad.  I don't know anyone who has ever gone scuba diving in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, but I know many who have been to Saint Vincent and a few who have visited the Grenadines.  People from São Tomé e Príncipe are invariably called São Tomean, and not São Tomé e Príncipeans.  

I guess you could avoid that by putting the more populous one last.  If it was called Príncipe e São Tomé then they'd both stick.  Same with Ireland and Britain.  Folks aren't going to leave off Britain.  So that might also be a reasonable poll option, though I still don't think it'd steal many votes away from the well-established name that seems to be winning.

For example, Provo, which is in the Caicos, has more people than any of the other islands in Turks and Caicos, including Grand Turk, so nobody just says "Turk."  Then again, when people visit Provo they just say Provo.  "Where'd y'all go?"  "Provo."  "Really, sweet.  Um, where's that?"  "Turks and Caicos islands."  "Oh, where's that?"  "Near Cuba.  Sort of."  
7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What term to you prefer for Great Britain, Ireland and surrounding islands on: July 26, 2015, 05:03:23 pm
The Irish government recommend Britain and Ireland. Some PC academics Atlantic archipelago.

Interesting.  I thought immediately of "British Aisles" after reading the question, and before looking at the voting options.  Then, after looking at the options I realized that I do not spell very well after a touch of the grape.  I went with the first respons.  

What do you call them?
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Top 5 Alfred Hitchcock films on: July 25, 2015, 07:41:31 pm
I always liked North by Northwest.  I watch it every time I see it on TCM.  Also I've seen, or at least heard of, all the films on the list.  I had no idea Hitchcock was so prolific.  

If I have to name four other favorites on the spot I'll go with The Birds, which totally freaked me out when I was a small child, Dial M for Murder, which I bought on DVD about ten years ago and have watched a few times, Strangers on a Train, which I have never quite figured out, and Rope, because it's so terribly demented and tense.  Also, although I'm not a big fan of James Stewart, his transformation in that film, culminating in the final speech, is very well acted.

9  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on: July 21, 2015, 10:23:00 pm
yes, okay, it's all from biased sources.  Whatever.  I'm cool with mohammed.  And Mohammed's cool with me.  None of y'all know him any better or worse than I do.  

Are you a practicing Muslim? No? Then you are wrong.


you are 67 percent.  We are 33 percent.  It's a good thing that we have you to tell us what to think
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you suffer from Asperger's or Autism? on: July 21, 2015, 11:28:52 am
I voted yes, but I might just be weird. 
11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: July 21, 2015, 11:25:46 am

I understand.  My son is ten and this was the first summer that one king-size bed no longer suits us.  I think we'll still be okay with one room, though, for a few more years.

We have finally gotten to the point when he says, "I need to pee" before exits and rest areas, rather than waiting till we're on a fifty-mile stretch of nothing.  He is a boy, though, so in a real emergency the contingency plan isn't too terribly inconvenient. 

As for letting him drive, I think my wife will have the final say.  I suspect she'll have to get over the terror of the thought first.  Actually, if he's anything like I was as a teenager I'll be terrified as well.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Road Trip 2015 on: July 20, 2015, 07:54:16 pm

We just got back from an 1100-mile road trip ourselves, and stretched it out to three days each way.  (I remember when 1100 miles used to be one day.  Just me and my 1979 Toyota Deathtrap and a lid of fine Colombian herb and the miles would just cruise by.  Nowadays, with my entourage and their need for frequent stops and my mature respect for sober and highly-caffeinated driving, it all seems to take much longer.  O how the times have changed.)

Have an enjoyable and safe journey.  Say hello to Teddy, Abe, Tom, and George for me.  Tongue
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: So You Think You Can Moderate - Season 2: No Vote For the Fascist Coat on: July 20, 2015, 07:38:49 pm
Poster input is revoked this season (since the mods are against democratic rule anyway)!

why not?  I saw the "post here if you want to be a mod" thread and thought that I'd not post there under any circumstances.  Not sure why anyone else would either, but since some did, let's pick them.

I vote for District 4:

Chris is pretty level-headed.  He doesn't piss me off.  Most of the time, or maybe at least half the time, I generally agree with him.  Antonio pisses me off all the time, and just about never, ever says anything except snarky, politically-correct mantras.  Thus, they seem like a match made in heaven.  Good pair of jurists, or advisors.  Always best to have at least one who agrees with you and one who does not, in all circumstances in which advice is necessary.  Also, I gather that neither of them are out for blood.  

Runners up:

District 2 and District 8, also because each of those contain one which really pisses me off all the time and one which doesn't, and neither contain any posters who are batshit crazy.

14  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: AP Poll: Support for SSM closely divided; majority prioritize religious freedom on: July 20, 2015, 06:44:42 pm
Not buying it.

Good, because they're not selling it.  They're just pollsters.

What you have to remember is that polls are just polls.  They write certain questions and go out and ask them.  "Do you think two men have the right to get married?"  Well, uh, okay, sure, why not? 

"Okay, then, do you think public employees have the right to refuse to engage practices that violate their deeply-held religious beliefs?"  Well, uh, okay, sure, why not?

This result is not hard to understand.
15  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Are you a "moderate hero" on any issues? on: July 20, 2015, 06:00:31 pm
Are you a "moderate hero" on any issues?

yep.  pretty much all of them.
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on: July 20, 2015, 05:53:42 pm
Hey Angus, did it not strike you as problematical that Mohammad's wife had six kids commencing at "nearly" 40?

haha.  The snark in this thread is strong, and mine is no exception, and I'd decided that we were all at the point of repeating ourselves, but you offer something amusing.  Something original.  Well, not really.  You're just repeating bedstuy's point, but at least you have a sense of humor about it.

yes, okay, it's all from biased sources.  Whatever.  I'm cool with mohammed.  And Mohammed's cool with me.  None of y'all know him any better or worse than I do.  

Anyway, many are deeply prejudiced against Islam in general, and has been pointed out, it's hard to separate any discussion of Mohammed from a discussion of Islam, and since Muslims are the targets of hatred, it should be no surprise that Mohammed is as well.  It's okay, because I kinda like being in the enlightened minority.  Tongue

17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on: July 19, 2015, 09:04:52 am

Don't you think that's kind of ridiculous?


Referring to the OP, rather than to an imagined question?  Not at all. 

When it becomes ridiculous to answer the question asked, rather than some other question, then I guess I no longer understand the rules.

I do agree that the answers of many posters will be prejudiced by their view of the religion he created.  I may be among the posters.  I generally have a positive view of Islam, and of religion in general.  In any case I'm not trying to start an argument over religion.  I am merely expressing surprise over the results of the poll.  They don't have objective answers, though, and I've become a little desensitized to the apparent fact that my view is a minority one.  Not particularly important, but maybe something to keep in mind should I ever find myself involved in a public discussion of Mohammed.

18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on: July 19, 2015, 08:52:09 am
Your use of the Levant in this context is strange.

yes, it was.

Not sure what I was thinking.  A map of Rome at its height, maybe around Hadrian's time, would have included the Levant, but that's nowhere near Mecca.  Even circa AD600 the Eastern Roman Empire still controlled the Levant (province of Syria I suppose it was called) but not Mecca.  Even Medina would have been just outside the influence of Rome.  All of that is far enough into the Arabian peninsula not to be in the province of Syria.  Certainly none of them are in the Levant.  I agree it was neither necessary nor helpful to refer to the Levant.  I really can't imagine what I was thinking when I wrote that. 

Nevertheless, I think Mohammed was FF. 
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on: July 18, 2015, 08:55:43 pm
Are most Muslims okay people, like the rest of us? Of course. But no one's disagreeing with that, so you look a little silly for trying to prove that agreed-upon point.

That was never my point.  I tried to avoid any discussion of Islam in general, and focus only on Mohammed.  If I look silly to you, imagine how very silly you now look to me, given that you apparently do not read well.

No, I suppose my point wasn't articulated well enough.

You accused everyone who didn't have a favorable opinion of him to be "bigots," indicating that it's some sort of anti-Islamic stance. Having an unfavorable opinion of one person isn't being a bigot.

I think that perhaps in this case it is.

I'm not saying specifically that you are, or that anyone in particular is, but I suspect that a large segment in the vote here is accounted for by exactly what you accused me of:  equating it with Islam in general.  Not that this is any more excusable, but it might explain the vote.

Mohammed himself was a Freedom Fighter if ever there was one.  And yes I do think he had much in common with Washington and Gandhi in that regard.  He came along in a hard time, after the weakened Romans had retreated from the levant.  When he was only five or six his mother took ill and died.  He then lived with Uncles.  It was after this that he learned the rudiments of statecraft, but he wasn't a kept boy.  He was expected to earn his keep.  He worked as a shepherd, a gardener, and a guard.  He proved to be trustworthy and hard working.  Eventually, through his reputation, he was hired as a servant of a wealthy Mecca widow, who was very impressed by his honesty and character.  She eventually proposed marriage and they were married.  He was twenty-five. She was nearly forty.  Mohammad managed her business affairs, and their next years were pleasant and prosperous. Six children were born to them, and Mecca prospere, becoming a trading center.
Still, he was disturbed by the materialism that had invaded Mecca.  Being a Libertarian, you might not have a problem with this.  That is your prerogative.  But I suspect that the left-leaning forum might genuinely appreciate Mohammed's concern.  This is where I get really surprised.  He railed against it.  He fasted.  He meditated.  He was concerned by the rampant alcoholism, the mistreatment of women and children, and the corrpution of officials.  Again, I don't expect a Libertarian to be particularly concerned with any of this, but I mention this for the sake of completeness.  No man can read the mind of another, and particularly one who has been dead for a millenium and a half, but Mohammed seems to have been genuinely concerned for the people of his nation. 

As for the mystical stuff, who knows?  I'm not particularly religious, and I was hoping that we might keep this thread above all that (there's enough of that already).  I'd also hope that we could keep it above triibal warfare (witness one Jew rejoicing in the killing of another, as in the thread of Sarah Silverman cheering the death of Jesus, and the shallow responses that follow).  From a sociological standpoint, and considering the mores that might have existed in the Levant at the time, Mohammed seems progressive and bent on organizing and saving a people.  You compain that he orders executions?  How many have been executed since, in the name of many leaders that we admire and worship?  You cannot impose the morally fashionable inclinations of today when judging the leaders of yesterday.  If you did, you would only remember Socrates as a man who liked to show up at parties with a 12-year-old boy on his arm instead of remembering him as a profound philosopher, and you might not respect any of the leaders of the American revolution, as they were slaveholders and womanizers. 

You must remember Mohammed in his own times and upon his own terms.  He saw great problems and he tried to deal with them in the context of his times.  Was he successful?  Well, surely there were skirmishes and revolts (e.g., (the Battle of Badr, which he won, and the Battle of Uhud, which he lost)  Eventually, however, he brought a peace to Mecca and Medinah that lasted until the Crusades, and his teachings spread as far East as China and as far west as the Azores.  Not too shabby.
20  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on: July 18, 2015, 07:29:47 pm
Are most Muslims okay people, like the rest of us? Of course. But no one's disagreeing with that, so you look a little silly for trying to prove that agreed-upon point.

That was never my point.  I tried to avoid any discussion of Islam in general, and focus only on Mohammed.  If I look silly to you, imagine how very silly you now look to me, given that you apparently do not read well.

21  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on: July 17, 2015, 03:08:55 pm
Haha, "don't speak ill of the dead" the ultimate cop out.

...but used rather selectively on this forum, I've noticed, so I don't think that answers your original question.  

I'd have a different question, of course.  You seem to be surprised that a minority would consider him worthy.  I wonder more why a majority are so hateful toward him.  

22  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Affirmative Consent Laws on: July 17, 2015, 03:04:17 pm
Dude, the phrase "innocent until proven guilty" is from the French declaration of human rights. Do some basic research before trying to lecture me.

Oh, I have, but you really seem to need the lecture. 

And the phrase originated with an English attorney.  The concept predates him, though.  I think the code of Justinian had this phrase in some form 1500 years ago.

I suppose my objection goes beyond that.  It's just a little too orwellian for my tastes.

23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Europe & US/CAN getting baked the next 2 weeks on: July 17, 2015, 02:59:39 pm
I miss winter.

Not me. We really haven't had much summer heat in Chicagoland and throughout the Great Lakes. June had record precipitation - about twice normal.

It has been a wet summer here as well.  I'm not sure what the precipitation amounts are, but I haven't actually watered my garden in over a month, but it's producing copious tomatoes, peppers, and the like.  This is exceedingly rare.  Streams are high and fields where we normally go to fly kites, toss the football, or fire off the model rockets have been mucky and swampy for a few weeks.
24  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Affirmative Consent Laws on: July 16, 2015, 09:20:30 pm
It is a fact that the judicial system puts a very high burden of proof on rape victims...

This is, after all, a US political forum.  Certainly it welcomes and encourages foreigners and their ideological views, but you have to remember that--for all our flaws--we still hold the value that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, and not with the defense.  You have to look a little beyond your Napoleonic Code of Justice to truly understand this.  Belittle it if you want, but at least try to understand it.

"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"
  --William Blackstone, 1760  (not an American)

I vote against.
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) on: July 16, 2015, 08:24:25 pm
I'd be interested to know why people who aren't Muslim are voting FF.

Because a few of us are reasonably well informed, and because a few of us are not bigots.

First, the default generally is not to say nasty shit about dead people--Ted Kennedy, all Nazis, and most Republicans excepted of course, for being truly horrible people--and thus the argument lies with the prosecution, and not with the defendant.  Second, he is remembered--not for really bad stuff like Josef Stalin, but more like Mohandas K. Gandhi and George Washington--for organizing people.   Organization is not an easily achieved state.  Mohammed was born into a society in which alcoholism was rampant, and into a society in which domestic abuse, child neglect, and internecine warfare was the norm.  He tried hard to do something about these problems, and in large measure succeeded, at least to the extent that he achieved a following.  I'm a little surprised that this left-leaning forum would be so quick to judge him so poorly, but then I also am reminded that the average age of the forum poster is of someone who probably hasn't graduated from university yet, or even from high school yet, so I should not be too terribly surprised.

I know that it's fashionable to suscribe to the Fox News/CNN/BBC belief that every Muslim is a terrorist and a wife beater and a knuckle-dragging barbarian, but you should really open your minds and try to avoid such unjustified bigotry.  Study the times in which he lived, and study his teachings.  Mohammed's teaching represented a major step forward for his people.  As Mohammed Sai'd-al Sahaf, the former Iraqi information minister used to say, "While the ancestors of George Bush and his little dog, Tony Blair, were crawling around on their stomachs in caves, we were writing the law!  We were writing the book!   God will roast their stomachs in hell!"

On top of all that, Mohammed had a miraculous journey.  And not just to White Castle, like Harold and Kumar.  He cruised with Gabriel on a big winged stud and visited Heaven and Hell.  That's like seeing Nine Inch Nails and Don Henley, all on one night, with different ex-girlfriends.  How cool is that?

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