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15201  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Here's another... awkward... photo from our troops in the field on: February 13, 2012, 06:35:49 pm


You can't assume that a swastika is always Nazi, even in Europe.  The Finns were using the swastika even before there was a Nazi party.  The above is the flag of the Finnish Air Force.
15202  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: The Historicity of Jesus - The Spread of Christianity in the 1st Century on: February 13, 2012, 06:00:39 pm
Why the mention of Armstrong?  I think we can both agree he wasn't around in the 1st century. His personal repugnance has as much to do with whether Jewish Christianity is desirable as Hitler's evilness has to do with the desirability of vegetarianism.

You also are taking a very illogical turn with your belief that establishing the historical veracity of one aspect of any a biblical book can be used to establish the historical veracity of other parts of that book, or worse that of the entire NT.  The most effective lies are mostly truth because it makes it easier for others to swallow the falsehood concealed within.  Therefore, each assertion of historical fact in the bible has to be judged on its own merits.  To do otherwise is to be acting on faith not logic.
15203  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Tacitus on historicity of Jesus - reliable source or not? on: February 13, 2012, 03:55:45 pm
Weak yes.  It certainly indicates that there was a Jesus, but it can't be used to say anything about what he was like because we have no way of knowing what the source of his information was.
15204  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: The Historicity of Jesus - The Spread of Christianity in the 1st Century on: February 13, 2012, 03:41:24 pm

Well, the book of Acts was also written before the revolt, as well as Paul’s letter to the Galatians and James' letter, and those books have James agreeing with the Law of Moses being superseded.


First off, the date of when Luke-Acts and the Epistle of James were written is disputed, and by no means is there anything close to agreement that they were written pre-Revolt.  I'll concede that point for now, as it does not help your argument in the least.  The people who followed a Jewish Christianity and thus their documents and traditions would be largely destroyed in the Jewish Revolts.  Arguing that an absence of evidence implies evidence of absence is not good logic.  Indeed, Paul's own letters indicate that there were a wide variety of early Christians, hence his need even at that early date to warn against what he viewed as error.
15205  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: How well would Santorum do with independents, moderates? on: February 12, 2012, 11:46:28 pm
He might do OK with independents in more Republican-friendly states and in some select Midwest swing states. He'll do piss poor with moderates, but that's nothing new — Republicans have been performing terribly among moderates for decades now.

Santorum and Romney both appear to me to be likely general election losers. But they both lose the general election in different ways. Romney is poised to do better than Santorum in states neither can win; Santorum is poised to do better in areas where the GOP "thinks" like he does.

Much truth in this.  However, I think the fears some have of his inability to win over the middle are real but overblown.  If the 2012 election were to be decided on social issues, Santorum would not be as electable as Romney would be.  However, unless something completely unexpected comes up, social issues will not be the focus of the general election.  This is shaping up to be a fight mainly over the role of government in the economy.

Both Mitt and Rick espouse the Republican economic mantra, but Mitt is hampered by the golden foot in is mouth.  Mitt comes across as a plutocratic number cruncher who only incidentally happens to notice that people are affected by those numbers. Rick comes across as much more personable. I hate to say it, but Bella's troubles are likely helping Rick politically. Even without doing anything to exploit it (and a push to exploit would backfire), it shows that Rick is someone who knows what it is like when life does not go as one would hope.  Even if you disagree with Rick on the issues, you have a reason to empathize with him. Mitt will never have that.

Plus, Rick has tapped into something I think will be useful politically that Mitt's soulless number crunching won't let him.  Rick's push to revive manufacturing jobs isn't particularly astute economically, but it is politically.  For a long time helping out the family farmer was the smart thing to do politically, even long after for most people that help would not only be of no benefit for most voters, but actually slightly negative. We recalled (and in some places, still recall) the bucolic family farm of yesteryear fondly, even after most of us no longer were employed in agriculture and most farming was the province of agribusinesses and not small family farms. Similarly, we recall fondly the days when manufacturing employed many more people than it does today.  Pushing a manufacturing revival is smart politics, even if the economics of particular proposals might not be optimal. Not only is this the case in general, but the big swing states appear to be shaping up as mainly in the Rust Belt, where what you are going to do to revive manufacturing will have even greater import.

Finally, as for the people who truly put social issues first, even in the current climate, if they disagree with Rick on them, they weren't going to vote Republican no matter who the nominee was.
15206  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Do you want a brokered GOP convention? on: February 12, 2012, 07:08:27 pm
Yes (I) - It's the best chance for the GOP to come up with someone who can actually beat Obama.  We need a period of undivided government, and I just do not see the Democrats as achieving that in this year's elections, and the GOP can, if they win the White House.
You want the GOP to be able to push through its agenda unhindered?

Yes, and if its the colossal failure the Democrats think it will be, then they'll get pummeled for it as they ought to.  Me, I don't think it'll be as bad as Democrats fear or as good as Republicans hope.  However, we have had a serious lack of responsible government for far too long in this country.  Both parties play the filibuster blame game to excuse why they can't get things done.  Both parties push policies they know are bad because they are popular with their own base and they can count on the other party to save them from their error.  We have a government structure that encourages our politicians to be irresponsible, and we can't afford that luxury much longer.  We need a period of solid undivided government to break the paralysis that keeps us from addressing our serious long term problems.  There are several approaches that could work to solve them, but we need to pick one, and soon.  Even a bad choice will be better than no choice at all.
15207  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of this Mark Twain quote on: February 12, 2012, 04:23:03 pm
Horrible quote. Twain was American so he shouldn't have been talking about farthings but cents. Wink
15208  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama's Catholic hospital decision on: February 12, 2012, 04:15:43 pm
Yeah, neither Obama nor anyone in the White House made much of an attempt to defend themselves on the legal grounds.  I'd say that there are two main reasons for this.  The first one everyone has noticed; the president is, at times, a wuss, and I doubt, given the fact that it's an election year, this will be the last time this quality will manifest itself when faced with a wedge issue.  The second is that this White House seems unwilling, in the heat of a political fight, to make what would otherwise be a clear legal case for themselves.  They had a pretty solid legal basis for participation in the U.N. action in Libya, and they allowed themselves to get beat up over it for nothing.  Now there's this too.  It's very strange to me, because the president is a constitutional lawyer, and while I've no doubt at all there are better ones, I'm just as sure that he isn't the dumbest one on the block, so why he doesn't lean on that background when he needs to, and when it would otherwise serve him well, is silly.

Not strange at all.  A legalistic defense may work very well in a court of law, but it seldom works well in the court of public opinion.  The problems Obama faced on this issue were not legal, but political.  Indeed, if the administration were to make the legality of the actions you mentioned the focus of their response, it would hurt politically.  Better to respond with  forceful defense of the legality of their actions only when directly confronted with it.
15209  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Whitney Houston has died, aged 48 on: February 11, 2012, 11:57:55 pm
At least she'll get a televised memorial service Sunday night.  I don't intend to be disrespectful by mentioning this so soon, but CBS has to be pleased what this will do for the Grammy ratings.

15210  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Should Santorum have contested Maine? on: February 11, 2012, 11:46:16 pm
If the caucus had all been today, he could have taken enough of the anti-Paul vote away from Romney to let Paul win, but as things were actually scheduled, no.
15211  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of "right to work" laws on: February 11, 2012, 11:13:14 pm
In an ideal world, they wouldn't be needed.  Of course in an ideal world, unions would be much different than they are.  They've largely let government usurp their most useful functions, such as unemployment insurance, skill training, and skill vetting, while keeping mainly those relating to restrain of competition. To a large extent that was a byproduct of the transformation from craft unions to industrial unions.
15212  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Imperial German flag vs modern German flag on: February 11, 2012, 08:30:15 pm
As I posted in that Greece thread, tricolors are boring, so I prefer these 1948 proposals for a West German flag:



There are twelve possible German Nordic cross flags one could come up with if you use either of the two Germanic color combos.  However, four are no good because a black field is too dark.  Similarly, a red field with a black cross won't work, as no matter if it was with a gold or a white fimbrulation, at a distance it would look too much like the flag of Norway, and ideally flags should be distinctive.
15213  Election Archive / 2012 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Daily Gallup GOP Tracking Poll Thread on: February 11, 2012, 06:50:07 pm
Paul will get a bump if he wins Maine today.

No bump for you!
15214  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Maine results thread. on: February 11, 2012, 06:46:29 pm
Other than more of Gingrich's supporters switching to Santorum than I expected, this was pretty much as I thought it would be, Romney squeaking a win out over Paul.  No need for me to change my predictions based on tonight's results.
15215  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Santorum: Women "too emotional" for front-line combat. on: February 11, 2012, 06:19:45 pm
Quote
I'm not particularly worried about the effects on combat ability if we were to completely gender integrate our military

50 percent of combat divisions would have to be women. It would never happen - but there would be significant damage to the combat effectiveness to enforce a dubious doctrine with no basis in reality.

Also - it would mean the end of the US military as a serious fighting force. Men prefer difficult jobs that have a high casualty ratio - why not give men a chance to shine? As a guy I'd be embarrassed to have a woman stick up for me and fight my battles for me even if she had 5 inches and 50 pounds (not difficult), simply because I believe that it's my job to protect her with all I've got.

Why do we have to waste time, energy and money defying what most men and women actually want?

You're the one wasting time and energy fighting a battle that isn't being fought.  We don't have anything even close to 50% females in the armed forces as a whole, and between culturally induced attitudes and physical limitations, I seriously doubt more than 1 to 2% of foot soldiers would be female if there were no gender limits on which MOS females could choose.

Besides, any males whose egos are so fragile as to be embarrassed that a female who was physically capable of doing the job is fighting alongside them probably should not be entrusted with a weapon in the first place.
15216  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Michael A. Naso Institute of Comedy on: February 10, 2012, 11:52:31 pm
Yeah.  I read it somewhere on the net many months ago and it felt appropriate for the boring discussion that was unfolding in that thread.  Joe gets the 2 points.

2 points?  Why should Joe get infracted?
15217  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama's Catholic hospital decision on: February 10, 2012, 11:40:13 pm
The insurers need to cover it without getting any additional premium payment for the additional coverage?

Don't know the actuarial tables on this, but it does seem likely that increased contraceptive use would decrease maternity care which can be quite expensive.  Whether the net effect on the insurers is positive or negative is something I don't have the data to judge, but they may well have it.
15218  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: The Historicity of Jesus - The Spread of Christianity in the 1st Century on: February 10, 2012, 11:33:06 pm
there is no evidence that the authors of the NT performed a coup upon some supposed “original” Christians.

There is considerable evidence that the First Jewish Revolt did the coup, with the more Judaic branches of pre-Revolt Christianity largely crushed between the Roman rock and rhe Zealot hard place.

Indeed, one could argue that Judaism died in the Jewish Revolts, with two successor religions Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism being founded out of the ashes.
 
15219  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: PPP: Santorum beating Romney in Michigan on: February 10, 2012, 11:08:55 pm
Mittens is no Rick Lazio. Paladino won because NY Republicans didn't want to nominate some washed-out down-stater whose last major accomplishment was losing to Hillary Clinton. Paladino could not gave won the primary without unusually high enthusiasm upstate + low enthusiasm downstate. Santorum can't take advantage of the regional divide in the same way.


Why not?  I've seen no evidence that anyone other than Politico is all that enthused about Romney.
15220  Election Archive / 2012 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Daily Gallup GOP Tracking Poll Thread on: February 10, 2012, 11:06:42 pm
inb4 Santorum takes the lead for good.

I doubt that if Santorum takes the lead it will be good.  We could easily have another four or five lead changes the way things have been going for the GOP this time.
15221  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Maine Prediction Thread on: February 10, 2012, 10:56:28 pm
Maybe Romney will surprise us all...

Romney 38%
Paul 32%
Santorum 21%
Gingrich 9%


If Santorum gets into the 20% territory, Paul wins, not Romney.

I'm going to go with:

Romney:38%
Paul:37%
Santorum:15%
Gingrich: 10%

If all the caucuses were happening tomorrow, I think Paul would win it because of Romney support that would shift to Santorum:

Paul: 37%
Romney: 36%
Santorum:18%
Gingrich: 9%

Not much of a shift, but some of the people who caucused for Romney as the anti-Paul would likely have caucused for Santorum had they known how well he was gonna do last Tuesday.
15222  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Romney Solidifies His Message: Pro-Free Enterprise, Anti-Washington on: February 10, 2012, 10:41:05 pm
Romney isn't pro-free entreprise.

He is pro-multinational. With him, small businesses would be screwed.

And just how does being "pro-multinational" (whatever that means), screw small businesses? Can you help me with some of this?

Because it gives an unfair advantage to the big corporations over the little ones.

How?  One thing economics most certainly is not is a zero-sum game.  Pro-multinational need not equal anti-everyone else or that equal pro-everyone else.  Give specifics instead of sound bites please.
15223  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Do you want a brokered GOP convention? on: February 10, 2012, 10:37:12 pm
Yes (I) - It's the best chance for the GOP to come up with someone who can actually beat Obama.  We need a period of undivided government, and I just do not see the Democrats as achieving that in this year's elections, and the GOP can, if they win the White House.
15224  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Santorum: Women "too emotional" for front-line combat. on: February 10, 2012, 10:33:36 pm
Okay, I'm posting...just one more time.

Men do not have an inborn instinct to protect women.  It's cultural, if anything.  And, with the level of brainwashing that occurs in military training, it's something that can easily be dealt with.


Do we really want soldiers trained to not be protective?  That sort of training would be almost certain to cause problems both in action, and when they come home.  As much as some liberals would like to pretend we can shunt the military off into some never-never land where they never have to come into contact with civilians, that ain't the case.  And as much as some conservatives would like to pretend that we can train finely-honed killing machines who can turn off their aggression at the flick of some inner switch, experience has shown that really isn't the case.

That said, I'm not particularly worried about the effects on combat ability if we were to completely gender integrate our military.  For one thing, I don't expect a flood of G.I. Janes in infantry foxholes even if we did.  For another, our current areas of combat operations have so little to do with the concept of front lines, that we can't say that women don't regularly serve in combat now.
15225  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Romney Solidifies His Message: Pro-Free Enterprise, Anti-Washington on: February 10, 2012, 10:18:31 pm
Technically, it isn't hypocritical of him to say he hasn't served in DC, in spite of having run in 1994. I am fairly certain that he didn't consider that he would seriously beat Ted. And I see no reason not to take him at his word from the debate last year (where Newt critiqued him with the "pious baloney" line), that he ran just to provide competition to a typically unchallenged liberal.

Let me make certain I'm not misunderstanding you.

The man ran a campaign he knew he would lose, wasting his time and money, plus those of his supporters, and this is supposed to be a positive?

Please, spare us the noblesse oblige sob story.  Having already done this once, how can the GOP be certain that Romney isn't at it again, running a campaign he is convinced will ultimately fail?

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