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8851  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Aliens on: August 01, 2007, 11:24:53 am

Or, a civilization has the technology to send a small exploration group with the capacity to grow/create their own food supplies and is willing to reproduce while traveling, knowing that their children, grandchildren, etc will grow up never knowing what it is like to have seen their home world.  Of course, you then risk the medical side-effects of inbreeding, so who knows how healthy these individuals are by the time the find another planet with life on it.

Also you have to take into effect if you send huge generation ships, with 10,000 or more people on them, 650 years is plenty of time for civilization to collapse and for the population to revert to barbarism.

Lucky then that science is making such leap and bounds in human hibernation science

I voted option three. No-one more than me would like to see contact with another intergalatic civilisation (if we call the mess that is our home a civilisation) but realistically the odds are very short. Wixted put it very clearly I think.
8852  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you agree with the preceding poster's statement? on: August 01, 2007, 09:18:57 am
Ehhhhh... No. Well Truman, Maybe. But Reagan... Ahhh <Cue Autorant>


One of the requisites of sanity is to disagree with the majority of the British public.
8853  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Nick Cohen and Johann Hari... on: August 01, 2007, 09:14:23 am
In Ireland the hypocrisy was even worse, not only was our Stop the War led not only by the SWP (which is just as bad as in Britain, if not even more comical due to it's contest disputes with the JPF socialist party, but also Sinn Fein and many Irish Republicans were leading the Anti-war charge. Now a peace rally led by the IRA, that's something to behold..
8854  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Could quality education solve most of America's domestic problems? on: August 01, 2007, 09:11:22 am
Well I don't think anyone is saying there is a silver bullet....the problem of how to make education better is an extremely complex and difficult one.

But I think it's hard to come up with a political problem that wouldn't greatly benefit from people being better educated and better informed.

But generally speaking the people who badly need to better educated and better informed are often the people less likely to pay much attention to their schooling (and again, we should not mix up schooling with Education.)
8855  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How many people live in your county? on: August 01, 2007, 09:00:20 am
1,186,821 according to Wikipedia.
8856  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Aliens on: August 01, 2007, 06:10:02 am
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Carl Sagan


Is Sagan a Christian?

Ummm... No.

Of course Sagan was an atheist, but StatesRights wants to apply the statement to God.

I figured it as much. Of course that statement could well apply to all religions, or for the Flying Spaghetti monster...
8857  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Aliens on: August 01, 2007, 05:24:48 am
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Carl Sagan


Is Sagan a Christian?

Ummm... No.

The only answer that can be given to this question is: Probably.
8858  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you agree with the preceding poster's statement? on: August 01, 2007, 05:21:35 am
That's not really nice to think about... So I'll say no.

Homophobia is gay.
8859  General Discussion / History / Re: Rank the Presidents! on: August 01, 2007, 05:19:20 am

14   3 Nov 1783 - 13 Dec 1783   Daniel Carroll(acting)   (A O C)   (b. 1730 - d. 1796)


Wow, so we had a Catholic President way back in the day... I find that rather stunning.  Then again, the Founders were a bit more Enlightened than the Evangelicals who would come after them.

IIRC, Anti-Catholicism only became a big matter in America in the 19th Century with the influx of Irish immigrants...
8860  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Rank the Prime Ministers of Canada on: August 01, 2007, 05:15:25 am
Can only do Post-Laurent I'm afraid.

1) L.B Pearson, Liberal
2) Pierre Trudeau, Liberal
3) Jean Chretien, Liberal
4) Diefenbaker, Progressive Conservative
5) Clark, Progressive Conservative
6) Martin, Liberal
7) Campbell, Progressive Conservative
8 ) Turner, Liberal
9 ) Mulrooney, Progressive Conservative
10) Harper, Conservative

Forgot about Turner. Not that he really matters anyway.

Now how about "Rank the Taoisigh (Irish PMs)" thread. Wink
8861  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would you cross a picket line? on: July 31, 2007, 07:19:54 pm
I've never seen a picket line in person.  It would depend on what I thought about the picketers and the picketee.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

^^^ (partially)

Hard to envisage I situation I would though. I don't think of it as a very honourable thing to do...
8862  General Discussion / History / Re: Libertarians: Who is your favorite president? on: July 31, 2007, 07:15:45 pm
Clinton was much more a libertarian than Reagan ever was.

But of the post-Civil war presidents only Cleveland, and possibly Harding and Coolidge (and then not on foreign policy) would count as libertarians.

Didn't Cleveland's economic policies cause some kinda "Great Depression"?

Depends on which economist you talk to. But "The Great Panic" began in 1893, only at the start of Cleveland's Second term which pretty much ended the non-stop growth of the post-civil war period.. where the Republicans had been in power for all but Cleveland's first term (and Andrew Johnston, if he counts). To blame, GC alone for it would be ridiculous. That isn't of course to say his policies weren't a factor, in the same way Coolidge's policies might have been responsible on some level for the great depression.
8863  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Rasmussen: Kucinich trails both Giuliani and Thompson on: July 31, 2007, 05:19:55 pm
Kucinich is doing this well against Giuliani and Thompson? wtf?

Right now it's pretty much a D Vs. R map right now and fewer people knowing him.

Not Really. As an outsider it really doesn't look good for Giuliani if he can't break 50% in a poll against Kucinich before all the hates ad come in. (Thompson at least doesn't really have such high name recognition.)

I'd like to see a Mike Gravel poll.
8864  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should masturbation be legal. on: July 31, 2007, 05:17:49 pm

Read again Al, somebody, indicating a single individual and (s)he does in private. Somebody does not imply more than one individual, rather it does the opposite - therefore excluding Wife-beating from what somebody can do in private (unless this person happens to be a wife, and beats herself up.... )

So there, smartarse. Tongue
8865  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Nick Cohen and Johann Hari... on: July 31, 2007, 03:07:55 pm
P.S: Al, have you read the book?

Bits. And I've agreed with most of those bits.

Will probably buy it (and then read the whole thing) fairly soon; I've not done so yet (despite attacks on middle class trendy-lefties being music to my ears) because I can't quite stop thinking of Cohen as being the hard-left oddball he was a few years ago.

He still is an oddball, he is only really respected now by people who wouldn't agree with him about much other than that he slags off the right people (e.g. the anti-war lobby), and also by those on the left who can overlook his stance on the Iraq war to issues on which he provides a more sensible contribution.

Also, I have a query regarding remarks about "middle class trendy-lefties" like those you make sometimes:

Is your problem with them based on the assumption that if one is middle class then one cannot be genuinely left-wing, and only therefore must being doing it only because it's trendy"?". Is the problem that they are middle class, or that they are leftie or trendy?

If it is the last one I agree, given there are loads of people whose leftism is so obviously an ill thought out image (e.g. a certain sex-obsessed poster from MN who seems to be moving in a path that will become similar to Cohen's IMO).

However, sometimes I worry that you actually believe that someone from a middle-class background cannot be left-wing, and almost imply that you'd rather they be on the right..

(Apologies if any of that sounded rude)

Hooray! Smiley
8866  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Campaign / Re: CNN: California could sway 2008 on: July 31, 2007, 12:31:54 pm
I'd support it.

And not just CA, but every other state as well.

Ford would have won in 1976 had this been in place..
8867  General Discussion / History / Re: Libertarians: Who is your favorite president? on: July 31, 2007, 12:21:39 pm
Clinton was much more a libertarian than Reagan ever was.

But of the post-Civil war presidents only Cleveland, and possibly Harding and Coolidge (and then not on foreign policy) would count as libertarians.
8868  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Poster most similar to the previous poster on: July 31, 2007, 12:17:14 pm
Opebo
8869  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Poster most similar to the previous poster on: July 31, 2007, 09:10:31 am
INKS
8870  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Rasmussen: Kucinich trails both Giuliani and Thompson on: July 31, 2007, 08:37:41 am
Interestingly he's doing slightly better than Ron Paul. (well, within the MoE)
8871  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Iraqi parliament adjourns for August on: July 30, 2007, 06:40:47 pm
Can anyone seriously deny that Iraq wasn't run better under Hussein at this point?

Yes

Pretty much (If by "run better" you refer to the actual goverment). But we all know that no-one's opinion here actually matter, what actually matters is what Bush, Cheney & Co are thinking. The strongman part deux is a tempting option...
8872  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Pledge/Flags in public school on: July 30, 2007, 06:32:27 pm
Obviously, I didn't go to an American school. I did go to a public school here though. We don't have a pledge of allegiance and I don't ever remember seeing our national flag in any classrooms.

Of course because of the lack of a pledge and not seeing the national flag every hour of the school day, I hate my country. Tongue

All Patriotic Irishmen hate their country. That's what being a patriotic Irishman is all about. (Yes, there are plenty of things about Ireland which are mysterious to outsiders...)

Obviously as an Irish protestant who went to a protestant school we had a flag and a pledge - a flag which our teachers assisted us in spitting on and burning every morning during prayers while we laughed at those silly catholics who attend their witchcraft mass. Then we pledged our alleigance to Britain, the Queen and Iain Paisley in that order. Tongue

Note: Memo to self. This is an American forum. Now leave the Irish stuff outside.
8873  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Could quality education solve most of America's domestic problems? on: July 30, 2007, 06:27:21 pm
No; absolutely not. The idea that kids will always do what's best for them is only they were more educated is totally and utterly ridiculous, in saying it would benefit certain individual cases.

Also I'm not comfortable with the whole Social engineering aspect of this idea - though I suppose it's better than Christian home schooling.

Wixted pretty much summed up the other points I was going to make. In Ireland just over 50% of people aged 17-25 attend college and get a degree, partially as we have free third education. But what has happened here is that:

1) Middle class families (like mine - yay!) then are free to spend more money on their child's secondary education (High school to you Americans) in private or semi-private schools. (And on Tutorials, Extra lessons, etc. This money would have previously been saved up for college. Since the 90s when the FG\Lab govt. introduced 'free' fees, the semi-private "fee paying" schools like what I went to have seen their numbers rocket. While many free (and some quite old) schools in middle class areas have closed down.)
2) Meaning that such Middle class kids still better grades than those who go to second rate national schools.
3) Meaning that such Middle class kids then get into better college places meaning they get better careers and so on than those that aren't.
4) Meaning that the level needed to get a really high job is now in many cases a masters degree or PhD, which isn't free. And guess who can afford those..
5) Also meaning that it's politically impossible to bring fees back because of the potential suburban mum backlash at the polls.

In other words free third level education has only really benefitted the top bracket.. I'm grateful for it, because it will put less financial pain on myself and my parents when I start college, but it's a complete idealism to imagine that it will greatly improve the standards of the bottom 25% social class students. Their problems begin in the education system even before pre-school, actually pretty much the day their out of the womb in many cases...

* (Note: The above is generalization. Of course there are individual exceptions that contradict what I've just said.)

Actually, to defend the Irish system - I have benefitted enormously from it and I'm not a middle class kid who went to a private second level school. Nor am I alone - a great many of my friends would also not have been able to get the education we did without this system.

Three years of subsequent study beyond one's primary degree are also fundable on a mean's tested basis - something I have also been very grateful to benefit from. Something which I think weakens you're 4th point.

All of which is not to say that the system is perfect - certainly a level of 'academic inflation' has occured and certainly the ability of the middle class to send their kids to private second level schools gives them advantages - but I think the benefits to myself and others outway the cons.

As to the 5th point, this is propbably true. Former Minister for Education Noel Dempsey wanted to alter the system to make the fees system more means-tested, which I would have supported had it gone through. I think that would have helped level the playing field at second level.

Perhaps I should have made exceptions for rural areas; though the standard of education outside the pale can vary from school to school, area to area quite a bit. Can't say I know much about Monaghan; only my experience in South Dublin (where of course there are alot of overpriviledged Middle Class kids - and plently of nearby 'free' schools have closed down. Though many (but not all) of them were CBS, which can also be attributed to other factors.) shows what I think to be true. Of course, the Inner city schools are in a dreadful state. But that's hardly news. My more general point was that one's position in the "lucky sperm race" has a greater effect on one's education than any sort of similiar of financial advantages could ever enduce. In fault, I had actually forgotten about the grands system.. don't know how I left that out.

I should not say that the system has got worse since the 90s, since I wouldn't know before it. Though grade inflation is ridiculous (though my 'B2' in Classical studies states otherwise. Tongue ). If it weren't for personal greed I would strongly support you final point. Wink

I think Jas and me should get our own forum on Irish stuff. Every time we're in a thread together the topic always seems to move to Ireland. So...

*If you're not Jas or if you're not Irish in any way, ignore this post*
8874  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Could quality education solve most of America's domestic problems? on: July 30, 2007, 05:10:41 pm
No

Let's take one example, everyone gets a free college education. Well then that would mean that you'd have an over abundance of college educated people with not enough jobs that require a college education. You'd end up with guys with a BS in Chemistry being bartenders or a woman with a BA in Political Science becoming a checkout girl at Wal-Mart. Also what it could do is lead to more academic elitism than there current is as people who go to the free universities don't have as many opportunities as those who go to schools that you still have to pay to get into. If those things don't happen then most employers will just raise the amount of education that you need to move higher into the company. Because a college degree would mean less because more people are getting them, and thus you have an over abundance of college educated workers, it would be in a company's best interest to hire either those people who come from better schools or who have more higher education, graduate degrees and such, because those people would now have an advantage over the masses of college educated people.

That can be countered by making college more rigorous.  That way only the people who are smarter and willing to work hard will get the degrees.  That way the system completely rewards those who work hard, not those who have money.

And as I said already, by College most of the students are nearly all children of the well-off. Having better and more rigorous system of education isn't going to change the class system in the US (obviously some studious individuals will benefit). Any real change has to start at the lowest and youngest levels of education. Or hell, before that as the child grows up. Do you think that an averagly intelligent (potentially) child growing up in BRTD's wankfest of urban blight is going to stand as a potentially averagly intelligent child from an upper middle class suburb?
8875  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: When will we have a new President-elect following the Nov. 2008 election? on: July 30, 2007, 04:59:34 pm
It'll be a Democratic landslide that becomes obvious early in the night unless the Democrats nominate Clinton or the Republicans nominate Giuliani.
neither of those things will affect the Democratic victory.  In fact they could potentially make it bigger.
Harry, you think Dennis Kucinich would be "competitive" in 2008.
If he gets the nomination somehow, then something weird has happened, and yes, he would be competitive under the new weird conditions.  It's not like I think he presently has a shot at being the next president.

All that would need to be said is:

"In 2004, Dennis Kucinich ran for President...in an automobile fueled by broccoli."

The Republican would win that easy. He is a total joke. For god's sake he said the first things he'd do as President would be getting rid of the Patriot Act and creating a Department of Peace!

Sounds very Orwellian.

Anyway as a foreigner I will foolishly predict either a Democratic blowout similiar to 1980 or 1920 (in which case a sudden decleration of victory) or a very narrow Republican victory ala 2004 in which case we might be in lawyer terriority again.
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