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8851  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you believe that 2007 will have the second coming of Jesus Christ? on: January 15, 2008, 10:50:24 am
Also note unlike Jesus actual known political history has been attributed to Mohammed;

Though on the other hand (no... probably just a different finger) expecting to find known political history that was the direct result of the activities of the preacher son of a carpenter living in a largely illiterate society two thousand years ago is a little silly.

Err Yes, that is my point.

Bono compared the evidence for Jesus to the evidence to Mohammed, implying that the story of Mohammed is believed by Westerners (Whoever they are) not due to evidence but because of OMG POLITICAL CORRECTNESS OMG!!1111. I was merely refuting that. Anyway I tend to strongly believe that Jesus actually existed - even if the events of his life as told in the gospels are probably fabricated - since the alternative is to imply that someone made him up.
8852  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Do you believe that 2007 will have the second coming of Jesus Christ? on: January 15, 2008, 10:38:48 am
Did you know that we only have one biography of Mohammed, written 212 years after his death, which used a source from about 100 years after his death, and yet "the historical scepticism of critical European scholarship is substantially less" where Muhammed is concerned! Are you going to put into doubt the records of the activities of Mohammed too?

Perhaps because, until recently, the western interest in the Islamic world was an esoteric intellectual taste?

Also note unlike Jesus actual known political history has been attributed to Mohammed; the rise of Islamic imperalism in the 100 years after his supposed death. Trying to explain that without reference to 'Mohammed' is rather difficult, no?

Perhaps in a while, you'll be arguing that we cannot know anything about what happened before we were born.

Well, not in the same way I 'know' I am typing on the computer right now.
8853  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Nevada court declares Kucinich to be included in Democratic debate on: January 15, 2008, 10:26:27 am
What's with all the people who want to stop debate?

There is no measurable difference between the (spoken) policies of Obama, Edwards, and Clinton.  You might as well just present a two-hour orgy where everyone agrees to repeal NAFTA, bring back the troops, and then wink at each other and burst out laughing.
8854  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How do you pronounce the name of the previous poster... on: January 15, 2008, 06:45:08 am
Gahb - ew.
8855  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: What do you think of this? on: January 14, 2008, 04:24:36 pm
Never has more truth been drawn... (with Quotation marks, o\c)
8856  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What do/did your family work as? on: January 14, 2008, 04:17:15 pm
Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather? (dad’s dad’s dad’s dad’s  dad’s  dad’s dad) – Indian chief, Co-leader at the Battle of the Monongahela; killed in a raid by Anglo-Colonial forces about a year later; skull brought to Philadelphia.

You win Tongue

Not so, it is believed (though never conclusively proven) by alot of the members of my family that we are descended from a British soldier who decided to settle here during the Cromwellian invasion.

8857  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Muslim Terrorists in action films on: January 14, 2008, 04:15:53 pm
Perhaps because the current War on Terrah is so absurd it really needs a satirist, not a Schwarzeneggar?

And why do you act as if you Jingoism is a good thing? Not entirely unpredictable from you Mike, but still.

Why is loving your country a bad thing?

Because the way 'your country' was chosen was little more than a lucky shot in the great mankind sperm race. (or Unlucky, if you live in the Third world.)

Loving 'your' country; the concept amuses me as I don't love mine. Not that Joe Republic isn't correct when he says there is a difference between Jingoism (OMG LETS GO KILL THOSE SANDNIGGAHS!11111) to patriotism.
8858  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Who is the next President of the United States? on: January 14, 2008, 12:25:58 pm
8859  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Muslim Terrorists in action films on: January 14, 2008, 11:56:04 am
Perhaps because the current War on Terrah is so absurd it really needs a satirist, not a Schwarzeneggar?

And why do you act as if you Jingoism is a good thing? Not entirely unpredictable from you Mike, but still.
8860  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: The 28 Electoral Votes of the Netherlands will go to the Democrats on: January 13, 2008, 03:35:14 pm
Yes. There are religious nuts EVERYWHERE.

Except there is no similiar party anywhere else in Europe. And in the Netherlands the moderate calvinist (and I think Lutheran too but I am not expert) is already taken up by the Christian Democrats and among the more populist ones, the Christian Unity Party.

It should be noted that the Netherlands had de facto religious toleration well before the rest of Europe did - which led to a highly competitive religious enviornment while maintaining a 'permissive' state - I think that Holland's liberal laws and the SGP are both legacies of that.
8861  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: The 28 Electoral Votes of the Netherlands will go to the Democrats on: January 13, 2008, 03:28:50 pm
The Netherlands isn't liberal and certainly isn't left-wing by any sane standard. People should not confuse permissiveness with liberalism, especially when they obviously have no idea what the traditional structure of Dutch society looks like...

So you mean to tell me that the Dutch lifestyle isn't at the very least socially liberal? Do me a favor, snob, and don't tell me I obviously have no idea concerning this issue when I have read a bit on it. I'm not some ignorant American when it comes to European issues like you think I am, Al.

The Dutch lifestyle (note that word, not laws) isn't very liberal outside of the typical havens associated with liberalism in the western world (such as Amsterdam) - if the netherlands was that liberal why do the extreme Calvinist Reformed Political Party always end up with at least 2 seats in parliament?
8862  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What's the last movie you've seen? on: January 13, 2008, 03:14:52 pm
Also just saw Charlie Wilson's War.

Great performances by all, but Phillip Seymour Hoffman stole the show. That guy needs a lot more roles like that.

Having just saw it and yes, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with you BRTD.
8863  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is the Christian Right comparable to Fundamentalist Islam? on: January 13, 2008, 03:08:41 pm
No; not quite. The social and cultural worldview is somewhat different (though they would agree in principle on many of the same things.) - though with the increasing "imperalism" of the Christian right - "Nuke Mecca", etc - I might have to change that opinion.
8864  General Discussion / History / Re: Do you think that Gerald Ford was a good President? on: January 08, 2008, 12:48:19 pm
He was better than his predecessor and successor.  That is not saying much.


Ford did OK given the people that surrounded him, East Timor and the Nixon pardon apart I can't think of anything too offensive which happened during his presidency.
8865  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which foreign leader does the preceding poster remind you of? on: January 08, 2008, 07:03:18 am
Ehhh... Lula. I guess.
8866  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which of the following do you support? on: January 07, 2008, 05:00:57 pm
Oh.. one of these things again. Anyway..

Safe Injection Sites
Needle Exchange Program
Heroin Maintenence Program
Legalized Prostitution

Prosecution of Unlicensed MP3 Downloaders
Parental Notification for Minors Obtaining an Abortion
Parental Consent for Minors Obtaining an Abortion
Incarceration of Private Drug Users
Hospitals Required to Report Illegal Aliens Recieving Treatment
Government Access to Library, Telephone Records
Continued Military Presence at Guantanamo Bay
Continued Policy of Embargo Against Cuba
Retroactive Immunity for Government Agents Engaged in Waterboarding

Ban on 'Partial Birth' Abortion -> Yes. If the Fetus is a viable entity outside the womb. How 'far' we should go is another thing. Whatever restrictions there can be will always be terribly arbitrary.

Legalized Brothels -> Not really a fan of this idea though in theory I have nothing against it as much as I have against private prostitution and Brothels are easier to regulate. BUT many Amsterdam legal brothels are still connected to crime rings which use that business to show 'legitimacy' and there is the horrible 'industry' side to it. Should be legal but should of course be regulated to an extreme amount

U.S. Switches to the Metric System -> Don't Care; would be useful next time I go to the US o/c

U.S. Lowers its Drinking Age -> Don't Care. Though 21 seems a bit excessive and ridiculous, but then again it would to an Irish person.

8867  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Gully Foyle's Ireland Place on: January 07, 2008, 08:12:50 am
Might want to fill in the little islands off Ireland, would look nicer.

I know. I *tried* doing that but for some reason Microsoft Paint failed on me.
8868  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Gully Foyle's Ireland Place on: January 07, 2008, 05:43:59 am
Put to good use Grin

Indeed. Smiley
8869  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Gully Foyle's Ireland Place on: January 07, 2008, 04:42:20 am
A supplementary map on Turnout again also posted at the Gallery:

8870  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Gully Foyle's Ireland Place on: January 06, 2008, 09:34:19 pm
Here is where I shall be stacking my specially created Ireland-related maps in future. I have also posted this in the Gallery but very few people visit there so...

Here is my first map (and may be my last for a while..) Some things aren't perfect (the Islands and the manually drawn constituency boundaries especially; though they make up very few though most constituencies have changed slightly in the past six years - I used the 2007 map as template)

For the foreigners here I'll just quote my gallery post to give you information...

In order to get Elected out of a Hung Dail in 1997 Bertie Ahern made a deal with some leading conservative independants, most notably Mildred Fox (Wicklow) whose predecessor father was the only TD to vote against legalizing homosexuality.

Part of this arrangement was for the new FF-PD coalition to amend Ireland's Abortion laws and make the most strict in Europe even Stricter by disqualifying possible suicide as 'a threat to the Mother's life' even though a similar referendum had failed in 1992 and Abortion Ala the United States, Great Britain, etc is completely unconstitutional here thanks to a 1983 referendum enshiring Abortion's illegality into the constitution. As that document can only be changed via a referendum one was necessary to legislate for this.

With an election approaching in 2002 and Ahern figuring he may still need the independents afterwards who had so far not achieved their wanted referendum, he announced in late 2001 that one would take place in early 2002 and the date was later fixed to be 6th March 2002.

The Campaign was tense and bitter but ignored by the majority of Irish people as can be seen by the turnout figures. Referendums on what are sometimes referred to as 'pelvic issues' in Ireland tend to have low turnouts but with predicted diehard partisanship with the established 'liberal' press (represented in the The Irish Times) going very strongly for a No vote against the proposals as did the Irish Family Planning Organisation and Feminist groups as well as that left wing parties (Labour, Sinn Fein, Greens and the Fringe groups) all campaigned against it as did Fine Gael despite some dissent from the ranks by backbenchers (and former Taoiseach John Bruton).

If the liberal 'no' predictable even more so was the 'yes' campaign - Fianna Fail campaigned for it though with some reluctance and while the PDs position was in support this clashed with many of their voters leaving them fairly silent throughout the campaign. The Mainstream Pro-life organisations and of course the Catholic Church all led the 'yes' cause. On the Sunday before the referendum many sermons across the country were led calling for a 'yes'.

But there were splits in the Pro-life camp as well some of whose leaders came out in favour of 'no' not for the liberal reasons but that the proposed legislation did not go far enough in their aims as it kept the Morning After Pill legal and did nothing to restrict travel access to Women who wanted to travel across to England for abortion (of which roughly 7,000 do each year). As the gap between both sides was precisely just 10,556 it is likely this small faction - which included West of Ireland MEP and former winner of Eurovision Dana Rosemary Scallon and the ultra-Catholic organisation 'Youth Defense', which some have later linked to neo-fascist groups in Europe.

In the end it was close with an almost comical urban-rural divide. Like with the Divorce Referendum of 1995 22 of Ireland's 26 counties voted for the conservative position only to be outvoted significantly by the other four in the east of the country and especially Dublin with the strongest opposition being in the Liberal Mostly Middle Class constituencies of the City's Southside while the support of the 'yes' as well as the concentration of nearly all of the pro-life 'no's came in the west and Midlands with the isolated Border counties being especially strong. This is a pattern repeated in many referenda.

This map is not perfect. It is indeed my first and I had to manually draw some constituency boundaries so the borders are not only not 100% accurate but are probably a bit too 'clean' as well. (West Dublin this was an especial problem)
8871  General Discussion / History / Re: Adolph Hitler's Biggest Mistake on: January 06, 2008, 08:55:51 pm
His biggest mistake was not focusing enough on the African front; instead considering it a side show which had been brought about by Mussolini's stupidity to the main showpiece in Russia. Had Hitler been more canny he would have realized that by defeating the British Army in Egypt he would create access for him to the middle east and the resources (and often sympathetic populations..) that that would imply.

Say if Rommell had won El-Alamein and had pushed the British back to Central Arabia it would significantly increased his opportunities without even needing to invade Russia; Turkey for example might have declared for the Axis if it thought Germany would have a significant chance of winning the region. Which would of course have opened a new invasion possibility in the Russian Front - via the Cacasuas (which is what Hitler wanted anyway..)

Couple questions...

1.  Do you think Hitler could have seriously weakened the British in North Africa (and elsewhere) by making fabulous promises and guarantees to the French (Vichy), Spanish and Turks?  Something like, "you attack the Brits on land and sea and you can have XXXX."  In the case of Vichy, let them have British colonies in West Africa and the Caribbean...in the case of Spain, Gibraltar and perhaps some Atlantic Islands like St. Helena...in the case of the Turks, British-controlled Iraq and Palestine.

2.   Even if Rommel had won at Alamein, the Brits would just fall back to Alexandria...and then Cairo.  Rommel's supply lines would be stretched even thinner.  Or do you think there would be a renewed effort to reduce Malta and gain total superiority over the air and sealanes? 

1. Yes. If Hitler applied his Resources away from Russia and into Africa. The colonial aspect of the war though is something I'm not particularly good on so I won't comment.

2. Malta? Oh Absolutely. Its survival was miracle and was mainly down to the excessive focus on the Eastern Front by Hitler. Had he been smart he would have waited and not try to fight so many wars at once.
8872  General Discussion / History / Re: Do you think Dwight Eisenhower was a good President? on: January 06, 2008, 03:48:57 pm
He was a foreign policy disaster - even from a "US Interests" POV (perhaps more so actually, considering that when Eisenhower and the US interfered in the Suez crisis in order to 'calm down' Eden & the French (which was one of the best moments of his presidency) the Americans will widely seen as "the good guys" in the Arab world over the imperalist French & English....... *sigh*
8873  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: How has the Atlas changed your political views? on: January 05, 2008, 08:22:37 pm
I don't think an individuals healthcare is the responsibility of society. 

And we're never going to "run out of fossil fuels", it will eventually become to expensive to get out of the ground what it's worth on the open market, but we'll never "run out".  The market will take care of the rest (unless the govt farks it up with ethanol subsidies and other "hand of govt" manipulations of the market).

Clearly the Free market is so magical that it does not all dependant on such trifles like the level of available of natural resources.
8874  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Most conservative Western country on: January 05, 2008, 07:14:50 pm
Does it matter what your opinion on the things are though? The bottom line is, in the US, supporting free trade is considered right wing. Period, end of story, and there's absolutely nothing you can do to change it. I am left wing on this issue and you are right wing. And you are more conservative than me, even (perhaps especially) in the "moral" sense.

What if you support Free trade with International unionization as well?

I admit I am a conservative on plently things (yes I know that contradicts stuff I said earlier but don't take me literally.) the problem is I guess is that I still prefer to use the traditional defintions of the word which are still used here - to an extent.
8875  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Most conservative Western country on: January 05, 2008, 05:28:01 pm
You forget that Bono is Bono. At a guess he's defining "left" as meaning "more state control" and "right" as meaning "less state control".

So... he's defining "conservative" as "left-wing", or what?

I can't see any metric or definition of "conservative" whatsoever that would make Canada in the contest for the most conservative Western country.

Well, the number of days to starting a business is only 3--compare with 5 on the US. Your overall weighted tariff rate is only 0.9%, compared with 1.7% in the US. Your top income tax rate is less than the US one, AND you have less brackets, meaning the tax is flatter. However, it's true that tax revenue as a share of GDP is higher in Canada (likely due to the national VAT which Steven Harper promised to abolish and then raised *ahem*). Your labor market flexibility, while not beating the US's, is still in the top 20. And your Provinces have much more power than US states (possibly the only federal entities with a comparable level of self-government are Swiss cantons). The only issue where you're actually significantly to the left of the US is health care, and even then you're now moving away from single payer (I'm not aying you're moving away from universal coverage, note).

Yes but what does this have to do with Conservatism. I always believed that conservatism was about preserving "traditional" values and stuff. It's also very funny how being against protectionism is now considered "conservative".

So being economically right wing is not conservative? Roll Eyes Of course that's the standard load of sh!t I'd expect from you.

I was going right out a big long post why you are, yet again, wrong but it got lost in the computer wash and so I'll keep this short enough. There are many purposes to protectionism but one of its major goals is to keep Capital within the country where the trade barriers have been implented and to keep competition out of the marketplace within these countries. This is a scientific economic fact.

Ergo protectionism often ends up benefiting redundant industries and the very rich who run them. It also benefits a highly centralized state and thus the elite. It also beligerent towards other states due to obvious trading impediments and is very localist and nationalist in its approach. I thought the left was opposed to these things. *

You can of course be Anti-NAFTA (which isn't really a free trade agreement as such) and Anti-protectionist; but you with your Nolan chart view of politics may not be able to see that.

* - This I know is a slight simplification as the Truth is always more complicated in that magical place we call "real life" but my sublities unfortunetly got lost with my long post.. tariff protection in the United States would very different from the application of tariffs in say, Burkina Faso. But the record of using trade barriers to built up national industry (unless you have a *significant* national resource ie. Oil) is very bad and one can only look at the history of Modern Ireland to show it. But of course the US has gone well past the stage of needing "industrial development".
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