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‘Dying’ Hitchens Talks Mortality, Religion

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Posted on Aug 10, 2010
Hitchens
theatlantic.com

In this frank discussion with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and with Martin Amis, an ailing Christopher Hitchens stares down his own mortality and makes it clear that if he appears to embrace religion at any point during his bout with cancer, “the entity making such a remark might be a raving, terrified person whose cancer has spread to the brain.”  —KA

The Atlantic:

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 23, 2010 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

Serial Poster Leefeller here!

Since the world revolves around me it should be known my opinion is the only correct opinion in me mind, but is never set in stone, which means me opinion is often contingent to changing at any time.  Yes, I admit it,....... I am not only a serial poster but also a serial flip flopper when it comes to me opinion. 

Damn,  if I was only an absolutist like others who post here with such conviction on Truthdig, so then reason would never ever elude me!

TD3 thanks for calling attention to me hates and especially those hates of passion, for some reason they where not known to me.  TD3, being such an expert on BS, maybe you could guesstimate with absolute certainty,  more of what I believe or hate with a passion,..... I need to know these things?

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By elisalouisa, August 23, 2010 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

As to my putting out excerpts of the Atheist Delusions, that is FYI Malcontent. You commented that Atheist Delusions was not on your reading list and asked that I post some excerpts that were not hyperbole. The excerpts are there. I agree with what I posted. I was gracious enough to do that at your request. Now do the rest yourself. The author can speak for himself although I am in total agreement with his views. David
Bentley Hart is an excellent writer and knows his subject well.

As to my comment of likening the New Atheists to the Nazis: New Atheists believe in their supremacy, there is a neocon air about them also similar to that of Nazism. They are aggressive and strident.  Nazis were also very aggressive in their failed effort to bring about a new world order. The Nazis were not tolerant. A “Live and Let Live” outlook was not the one they espoused. This is also true of the New Atheists. There is no moral code for either group in achieving their goals. The New Atheists do not have tolerance for those who cannot hold their own such as the impoverished, of which there will be more than a few in this country as lack of employment increases. The Nazis also eliminated those who did not fit into their new world views. Genocide through our wars is accomplishing this. The New Atheists are hacks for the neocons who have helped bring about the wars we are engaged in and so-to-be wars in Iran and North Korea. The New Atheists are aggressive about crushing Christianity and setting up a new order. The Nazis in Germany also intended to bring about change in German society and were violent in their attempt to accomplish this. Total control of government was the goal of the Nazis. Hitchens is a fellow traveler of the neocons and assists them in their goals through writing. The neocons have much
control over our government. Hitchens tells us you do not cure poverty through charity. The neocons certainly encourage discontinuation of social programs to the less fortunate.The New Atheists encourage building a better race through science and technology where moral values are a thing of the past. The Nazis
also did. I could go on and on.
As I have said in my other posts, my time is limited. I put this out before you. These are my opinions and views. This is not an inquisition. I am free to put my views and thoughts out there. You don’t agree. Fine. Your opinions, views and thoughts can also be posted. Period. No further responses are in order.

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By Malcontent, August 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

By elisalouisa,

“when one considers how many innocent lives have already been swallowed up in the flames of modern progress.”

One wonders of you get the concepts of theism/atheism confused with technological progress.

And,“the process of secularization was marked, from the first, by the magnificent limitlessness of its violence. . . .”

More hyperbole, without evidence/examples. As populations grew and weapons technology advanced,(not to mention communication/media advances), death tolls have risen. Do you seriously believe that more irrational belief in conflicting world-views would have improved things? Have you failed to notice, that violent horrible century was run by and inhabited by, primarily, theists (perhaps 90%)?

Can a small handful of atheists inspire millions of theists to slaughter each other? Or did the popular myths go a long way to motivating the sheep to carry out the will of even the atheist leaders? Hitler talked all those xtians in to hating jews enough to persecute them? Or was that centuries of x-tian hate-mongering played upon?

Do you make any distinction between technology used to kill people and technology designed to help people or save lives?

“And again, the question with which I find myself left at the far side of my narrative is what must become of our culture once the benign and terrible spirit (of Christianity) has finally departed.”

If christianity is both “benign and terrible” by design. and so is atheism by default, why does christianity get a pass but not atheism?

Apparently, in your mind, atheism is inextricably linked to technological advance. In spite of most technologies being invented by self-proclaimed theists.

Dogmatic propaganda is not the exclusive purview of religious fanatics. Secular fanatics use it too. It helps if your public are already used to being told what to think and what’s right vs. wrong.

Which segues nicely into your topic of amorality. Which you confuse with immorality. If my ‘morals’ (I prefer the term ‘ethics’ as it implies I gave it some thought, not just read some book), are based on my observances of this world and my experience as a sentient being, why are they inferior to the ones you got from the bible? Or a fortune cookie?

“Peter Hitchens states what I have felt on these threads.
You see that scorn in the New Atheists, in the way they treat their opponents-not with any kind of respect at all.”

I actually see the ‘scorn’ you refer to. It is a product of both human nature and the belief that your ideas are unsupportable by evidence or even rational conjecture. That kind of non-thinking baffles atheists and they poke fun. I wonder if you’ve ever compared that ‘scorn’ to the complete lack of respect displayed by believers when they talk about atheists, like they are a disease. When they blame their joy at the thought of unbelievers burning in hell on the fact that it’s not their idea, it’s gods.

Just as they imagine they are persecuted, despite their majority status, x-tians tend to fear and persecute anyone who refutes their beliefs. Unbelievers are “not real americans”, unworthy to govern or teach. Polls show atheists to be one of the least respected groups in our culture. Where is the love? It kinda feels like scorn. Even if you blame it on god.

By elisalouisa, August 22 at 1:05 pm

“One can even liken the New Atheist theme to the spirit of Nazism”

Ignoring, for the moment, how this one line Goodwins all your credibility, I would like you to explain this statement anyway.

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By elisalouisa, August 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

Check out this video tape: Leaving Atheism: Peter Hitchens.

Well worth it.
http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2010/03/leaving-atheism-peter-
hitchens.html

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By elisalouisa, August 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

Peter Hitchens, Christopher’s brother, has a book out titled: The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me To Faith.

Peter Hitchens states what I have felt on these threads.
You see that scorn in the New Atheists, in the way they treat their opponents-not with any kind of respect at all.

Check these links out about The Battling Hitchens Brothers
http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2010/July/Atheism-Aside-Peter-Hitchens-Journey-to-Faith


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/apr/17/rage-against-god-peter-hitchens

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By elisalouisa, August 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

          What must become of our culture once
              the benign and terrible spirit of Christianity
                has finally departed.

Excerpts from Atheist Delusions for Malcontent whose August 21, 4:12 am post said:
“If the book is that insightful, then it may behove you to post some of said insight.” Also for you Nem, who erroneously commented (a habit of yours) that I posted almost half the book Atheist Delusions.

“Can one really believe—as the New Atheists seem to do—that secular reason, if finally allowed to move forward, free of the constraining hand of archaic faith, will naturally make society more just, more humane, and more rational than it has been in the past? What evidence supports such an expectation? It is rather difficult, placing everything in the scales, to vest a great deal of hope in modernity, however radiantly enchanting its promises, when one considers how many innocent lives have already been swallowed up in the flames of modern progress. . . . .The best ideals to which we moderns
continue to cling antedate modernity; for the most part, all we can claim as truly distinctively our own are our atrocities. One could I suppose argue that the secular project had somehow been diverted from its proper course at the dawn of the twentieth century, just as the new ideologies were assuming
concrete political forms, or had been stalled or subverted by certain intransigent forces of unreason. This would be a more credible claim, however, if the twentieth century horrors were demonstrably aberrations within the larger story of the modern world. But in fact, the process of secularization was marked, from the first, by the magnificent limitlessness of its violence. . . . And again, the question with which I find myself left at the far side of my narrative is what must become of our culture once the benign and terrible spirit (of Christianity) has finally departed.”

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, August 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Taoism
Shit happens.
Buddhism
If shit happens, it’s not really shit.
Islam
If shit happens, it’s the will of Allah.
Protestantism
Shit happens because you don’t work hard enough.
Judaism
Why does this shit always happen to us?
Hinduism
This shit happened before.
Catholicism
Shit happens because you’re bad.
Hare Krishna
Shit happens rama rama.
T.V. Evangelism
Send more shit.
Atheism
No shit.
Jehova’s Witness
Knock knock, shit happens.
Hedonism
There’s nothing like a good shit happening.
Christian Science
Shit happens in your mind.
Agnosticism
Maybe shit happens, maybe it doesn’t.
Rastafarianism
Let’s smoke this shit.
Existentialism
What is shit anyway?
Stoicism
This shit doesn’t bother me.

Nemisis2001

Save the canned spam, it only your P.O.V.

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By elisalouisa, August 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

The post below speaks for me Nemesis. I reposted it. No, excerpts from   David Bentley Hart’s novel Atheist Delusions. You are part of the New Atheists. There is no topping you in vindictive words and perhaps even actions. Chris Hedges state that C. Hitchens is amoral. I would agree. I also suspect that particular affliction has permeated what is left of your being. More specifically, you also may be amoral. Put Paul Wolfowitz in that category also.  I feel safe in saying you have a screw missing and there are no replacements. That dooms you forever. Ciao. 
By elisalouisa, August 22 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment
The spirit of the coming times could well be the spirit of the New Atheists as they continue to spew out their hatred of the qualities of Christianity that indeed were a double edged sword but did include the spirit of love and good works. Christopher Hitchens has no use for such qualities for it does not fit
into his new world of which he is about to depart.
One can even liken the New Atheist theme to the spirit of Nazism, namely, that of developing a super race, however subtle that message may be. That intent is hidden because it would arouse too much resistance at this time. Just think about what Hitchens is really saying in his diatribe against Mother Teresa. He condemns her charity, saying that is not the way to rid the world of poverty. 
True, but it does temporarily fill the stomach and provide comfort. It also begs the question, has the world ever been without the poor? Why make Mother Teresa the target of your ranting and raving? I have come to suspect one of the reasons is that being a woman and elderly she is an easy target and
the ridicule heaped upon her makes Hitchens’ public speaking and debates more interesting, a touch of humor is added. Christopher Hitchens has proven over and over again that he is not above such chicanery.  As jobs are no longer available more and more people will have to turn to social programs and
also charitable organizations such as the one Mother Teresa started. Such organizations, be they private or governmental, may soon be no longer available.  So what is to become of our people who are not part of the power/elite when there are no social organizations to assist them in time of need. Again, the message that the New Atheists put forth is one of ridding our
social structure of such incompetent weaklings.  The New Atheists make few comments about the wars furthered by their partners in crime the neocons.  Also less about the exporting of jobs to countries where slave labor is not only
acceptable but encouraged in the hallowed halls of our government, all for the benefit of the power/elite.  Nevertheless, the New Atheist message which in some ways mirrors what the power/elite wish to accomplish is catching and many who endorse their philosophy do not realize that they are not impervious to such lists of those who are dispensable.  The genocide that is going on right now is not accidental. Those who are killed in war are not of value to such as the New Atheists and their friends such as Paul Wolfowitz. Irony is,  members of our armed forces are not privy to such facts; a medal keeps them in line and they salute the flag that symbolizes the power structure of those betrayed them. The quest for oil and minerals in the countries we conquer and then set up with puppet governments are for the good of the power/elite who soon may put you on the dispensable list. It is no accident that the middle class is becoming a thing of the past. The future holds two classes: the power/elite who shall rule with an iron fist and the virtual slave class. This lower slave class will accept their fate, causing no problems, gratefully taking the morsels of food that are doled out. This a glimpse of the world to come, the world of the
New Atheists,  as seen through the eyes of the typist.

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By truedigger3, August 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

nemesis2010 wrote addressing me:
“In so doing you—of your own accord—have provided everyone reading with more than enough evidence to confirm what one easily infers by reading any of your comments; that you are at best a senile, failing, past it, anile, driveling, doddering…..
.........................
__________________________________________________

nemesis2010,
This coming from you is a compliment
Many times before, here in truthdig, I refuted and rebuttaled similar hired liars and war mongers like you, who were spewing, exactly the same lies and bullshitting.
Unfortunately, there are many ignorant or hired liars of your type and I don’t have the time to refute everyone in detail.
I know good amount of history and politics of the Middle East, and I lived there several years, so I know what I am talking about, buster!
You are such a prolific writer. Are there people who are helping you or do you do a lot of cutting and pasting, providing material for your lies and bullshitting.

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By nemesis2010, August 22, 2010 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

Atheism

I.

For several days now readers of commentary related to this article on Christopher Hitchens have been subjected to a display of frantic copying and pasting by one poster in what I see as an act of shear desperation in an attempt to denigrate what she obviously does not understand in defense of faith.

Unable to construct and articulate an argument on her own, said poster has decided to let others do her talking for her. Parroting is a common trait among believers as the last thing any of the many thousands, perhaps millions, of pulpit pimps throughout the world want is sheep that can think. One would hope that they’d get the hint at their being metaphorically compared to what is one of the dumbest beasts on the planet. Unfortunately, among believers subtlety of mind is not widespread.

The “Atheist Delusion” is nothing more than a vitriolic polemic against the so-called New Atheists—in particular R. Dawkings, S. Harris, and C. Hitchens—using worn out and discredited Christian apologetics and an attempt to rewrite history from a Christian bias. I have no intention of dissecting this acerbic and spurious apologia but there are certain ironies that I want to share with you.

To begin, it is apparent that neither the poster in question nor the author of the screed understands the prefix “a” in the word atheism. Atheism is a word of Greek origin—atheos—which simply means “without god.” Atheism is not the opposite of theism. Not all words that end in “ism” are an “ism.” Stigmatism?

Atheism is not a religion, it’s not a creed, it’s not a belief system, it’s not a philosophy, it’s not an ideology, it’s not an “ism.” Atheism is simply not believing in a deity because there is no evidence to support the hypothesis. Nothing more.

Using “atheism” as the antithesis to theism has long been a ploy utilized by theists. This ploy is a straw man and false premise fallacy as well as a few others –also purposed deception. Who has not heard of the “Church of Godless Atheism” or “The Church of Godless Liberalism” and arguably their favorite slogan to strike fear into the hearts of all those clueless dupes that fill the pews and empty their pockets: “Godless communism!”

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By nemesis2010, August 22, 2010 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

II.

One irony that I find particularly amusing is that in her assaults against “godless atheism” and those “evil atheists” our poster in question finds herself encamped with the likes of Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Dick Morris, Rush Limbaugh, all the right-wing Republican Jeebus evangelicals, etc. It is amusing because this is the same individual that cannot satiate her desire to eviscerate the republicans, Fox News, corporations, neo-cons, etc. and has gone as far as to state that “Fox News makes you fat” and “the republicans and corporations make you obese.”

As for the screed “Atheist Delusions” the first warning sign that the book is nothing more than several hundred pages of excreta bovinus can be found in the subtitle of the book: “The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies.” Christianity is not in a revolution. Christianity boasts of 25-37 thousand different sects and denominations, is one of the Big 3 monotheist religions, with 33% of the world’s population considering itself Christian compared to just 2.5% of the world’s population being atheists. Yet, somehow, we’re a threat to the Christians! Go figure!

Christianity is a drowning man going down for the last time. It finds itself drowning in a sea of reason because it is an end time death cult. It was doomed from the beginning because of its belief in a savior’s soon return. That it has survived this long does not speak well of human credulity.

In the preface of the book, (about the second page, mine’s a digital version so the numbering is different) the writer pens the following:

”In a larger sense, moreover, nothing I argue below—even if all of it is granted—implies that the Christian vision of reality is true.”

Helloooooooooo!

About the Roman Catholic Church he writes:

”Some of the early parts of this book, for instance, concern the Roman Catholic Church; but whatever I say in its defense ought not to be construed as advocacy for the institution itself. (to which I do not belong) but only for historical accuracy.”

WTF!

I do understand the disclaimer. Who the hell wants to be associated with an institution that has been a haven for and protects pedophiles and whose inquisitors used the Pope’s pear and many other lovely devices that demonstrate brotherly love in more ways than Jeebus could have imagined. Should I mention the yearly honoring of Hitler’s birthday until he died? But there’s also another reason for Mr. Hart’s disclaimer and you’ll connect the dots when you read below what is Mr. Hart’s profession. Here’s a clue: think East vs. West.

This book is a failed attempt to counter Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” so even the title is sort of a rip-off of Dawkins’. 

In attacking Dawkins the author is assaulting a former IDer. Dawkins once believed in intelligent design. He states in his book that given a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the highest number in not believing in an intelligent designer, that he would put himself at about six. 6!

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By nemesis2010, August 22, 2010 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

III.

The author criticizes Dawkins for a lack of philosophical skills. Well no shit Sherlock, do you think it might be because of the fact that he isn’t a philosopher but rather an ethologist and evolutionary biologist? And what, you may be wondering, is Mr. Hart’s profession? He’s an Eastern Orthodox philosopher, writer, and cultural commentator! I can only wonder how well Mr. Hart would do teaching an evolutionary biology class.

If you’re wondering that being an Eastern Orthodox philosopher might bias his screed somewhat… wonder no more… he admits to it in the preface.

”But I am not really a historian, in any event, and I do not even aspire to detachment. In what follows, my prejudices are transparent and unreserved, and my argument is in some respects willfully extreme (or so it might seem).

“What I have written is at most a ‘historical essay,’ at no point free of bias, and intended only as an apologia for a particular understanding of the effect of Christianity upon the development of Western civilization.

Keeping these quotes in mind I want to address one of the main thrust of the argument being made by the poster in question and an obvious reason that she felt it necessary to copy and paste what seems like half the damned book.

That point is a claim that anyone familiar in debating Christians has encountered many times. Christians hardly ever fail to bring it up and never fail to realize the irony in using said defense as well as the amount of unbelieving that one has to accept in order to believe it. I speak of the charge by Christians that “atheists” have been responsible for more slaughter than Christianity. The examples usually given are Soviet Russia, Mao’s China, and Cambodia under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

The irony in that claim is bewildering to say the least. Why is it that Christians cannot see the irony in having to take the position that they are not as bad as those others? What the hell kind of a testimony is that where you are forced to compare yourselves with some of history’s most violent regimes in order not to look so bad?

That claim also demonstrates Christians’ ignorance of system analysis and willingness to deceive in order to save face. Atheism—not believing in a divine—is an attribute of communism (the system) but communism is not an attribute of atheism. It’s subtle, but it’s extremely significant! Those were not atheist regimes that were responsible for all the deaths and human suffering, they were communist regimes.

Communism is structured much in the same way as a theocracy and/or autocracy. It is—like theocracies and autocracies—totalitarian. Communism is, arguably, a theocratic state where the State, the Party, and the party leader(s) are god(s). e.g. the worship of Lenin, Mao and his little red book, and North Korea and the Lil’ Dongs.

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By nemesis2010, August 22, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

IV.

Those regimes and their adherents who perpetrated those crimes against humanity did not commit those atrocities in the name of atheism or because they don’t believe in a divine. Communist regimes—as all others—persecute anyone and anything that is believed to be a threat to the State, the Party, and the leader(s) much in the same way different religious groups slaughter each other due to differences of interpretation and/or believing in a different god. Consider the genocide between Jews, Muslims, and Christians for the past 2,000 years and they’re all believers in the psychopathic desert god of Abraham.

The men and women who fought the revolutionary wars that brought communist regimes into power didn’t fight for their non-belief in a deity. They fought because of “faith” in Marxist ideology. They were as much “faithful believers” in their dogmas as any other religious person. It is fanaticism that drives people to risk their lives and soothes the conscience. They are “faithful believers,” not non-believers. People fight and die for their beliefs in their nations, their religion, their race, their cause. They don’t risk everything for non-belief in a deity.

Another important fact that is often—if not always—overlooked in that claim is that those atrocities charged to those communist regimes were, officially, acts committed by the State. Just because the State does not recognize any divine does not mean that the citizens of those states did not hold on to their belief system in private. How can you provide evidence that every person who had a hand in those actions that are viewed as genocide or crimes against humanity was an atheist? We have evidence that many believers were part of the society in Russia because Stalin allowed the Orthodox Churches to reopen for a short time during WWII. Why would he do that if there weren’t any believers? Then there’s all that testimony from the Christian churches about the Christian underground that flourished in the U.S.S.R.

If the U.S. declared itself an atheist state tomorrow would all the believers stop believing simply because the State declared itself “atheist”? Hell no! You know they wouldn’t. So why do you believe that all the many millions of citizens in the U.S.S.R., Mao’s China, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia, thrashed their belief in mythology simply because the State declared the society atheist?

Fanatical belief in a dogma, philosophy, ideology, creed, etc. —not non-belief—is the force that drives us to commit the atrocities that human kind has perpetrated on itself for many hundreds of thousands of years. 

If you are an individual sitting on the fence and not sure what to believe, I recommend the Holy Bible. Read it from start to finish, just as you would any other book, and if that doesn’t cause you to stop believing… nothing will!

(alternative reading choices: “The Christian Delusion” and “The Case Against the Case for the Christ.”)

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By nemesis2010, August 22, 2010 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, August 20 at 6:35 pm

” Regardless of my “minor” criticisms, I think you are a stark realist and articulate to boot, which I think the world needs more of, but I do not
have even an inkling how that can be brought about?  Boys are raised
to be real namby-pamby thumbsuckers. Not that the males ought to
go out and smash each others private parts, which I gather is what they
really like to do as an indication of power, but males do need more of
the rational principle working in their infected brains.”

We men are not surprised by your not being able to understand She. A quick perusal of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Holy Quran and you would know what we know; that you (women) are inferior to men and are worth only half of that which a man is worth. Try never to forget Edmund Burke’s profound definition of a woman as written in “Reflections on the Revolution in France:”

”A woman is but an animal, and an animal not of the highest order.”

Not only does that statement confirm God’s opinion of inferior man (woman) but also of those “sistahs” in the “sistahood” who have preceded you by some few years.

For example:

Mrs. John Sanford in her tome “Woman, in Her Social and Domestic Character” writes:

“Religion is just what woman needs. Without it she is ever restless and unhappy.”

And don’t forget the following admonition in “The Young Lady’s Book” (1830):

“…in whatever situation of life a woman is placed from her cradle to her grave, a spirit of obedience and submission, pliability of temper, and humility of mind, are required of her.”

(A People’s History by Howard Zinn)

One of my favorites is from the Prophet—may peace be upon him:

“Men are in charge of women, because Allah made men to be better than women. Refuse to have sex with women from whom you fear rebellion, and scourge them.” 4:34

And of course that pièce de résistance:

”When it’s time to pray and you have just used the toilet or touched a woman, be sure to wash up. If you can’t find any water, just rub some dirt on yourself.” 5:6

You know She… there just might be something to this religion thing…and with all that in mind… Go fetch me a drink woman!

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By nemesis2010, August 22, 2010 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

By elisalouisa, August 22 at 3:25 am

”According to Nemesis he may soon be standing at the entrance of hell with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other; Mother Teresa is at the entrance gate and in charge of admittance. Being aware of the aspersions Hitchens has hurled at her very being, I doubt he will be admitted. At the other end St. Peter guards his gate very closely so needless to say Hitchens’ dry wit will not be an influence there.”

In your purposed convoluting of the story—of which I’m the author—in your vain attempt to diminish the infamy of that shriveled old hag, Hitch would definitely be in dire straits if depending on that old bitch’s selflessness for his sustenance because like any good Nazi concentration camp commandant the old hag—while sitting on multimillions of tax free and unaccountable donated dollars—had to be ordered by the Vatican (no paragon of virtue of itself) to provide adequate diet to her “sistahs” whom she was slowly starving to death for lack of food.

Of course when the “head sistah” fell ill, like all self-appointed shriveled up little gods, she ran to the West (1st world) for treatment and recuperated in 5 star hotels.

It’s no wonder to us that you so-called “believers in Jesus” —who supposedly taught brotherly love and compassion—stand around salivating with glee fantasizing Hitch in eternal torment. Do the fantasies of human beings suffering eternal damnation provide you with some other form of ecstasy elisa?

By truedigger3, August 20 at 7:46 pm

”I am wondering, whether you are stark ignorant or skilled bullshit artist because what you write about Iraq and the Middle East is pure bullshit and nonsense. But you write very well, so I tend to think you are bullshit artist and a hired hack. A person who write so well cann’t be that ignorant!.”

This is known as an ad hominem fallacy. You have attempted to discredit what I have said with a personal attack instead of evidence to the contrary. The reason you are reduced to such imbecilic rants is because there is no evidence that supports your fallacious world view.

In so doing you—of your own accord—have provided everyone reading with more than enough evidence to confirm what one easily infers by reading any of your comments; that you are at best a senile, failing, past it, anile, driveling, doddering, soft in the brain, and old as Methuselah, purveyor of vacuous, egregious, unsound, confused, preposterous, asinine, idiotic, fatuous, irrational, specious, illogical, silly excreta bovinus.

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By elisalouisa, August 22, 2010 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

The spirit of the coming times could well be the spirit of the New Atheists as they continue to spew out their hatred of the qualities of Christianity that indeed were a double edged sword but did include the spirit of love and good works. Christopher Hitchens has no use for such qualities for it does not fit into his new world of which he is about to depart.
One can even liken the New Atheist theme to the spirit of Nazism, namely, that of developing a super race, however subtle that message may be. That intent is hidden because it would arouse too much resistance at this time. Just think about what Hitchens is really saying in his diatribe against Mother Teresa. He condemns her charity, saying that is not the way to rid the world of poverty.  True, but it does temporarily fill the stomach and provide comfort. It also begs the question, has the world ever been without the poor? Why make Mother Teresa the target of your ranting and raving? I have come to suspect
one of the reasons is that being a woman and elderly she is an easy target and the ridicule heaped upon her makes Hitchens’ public speaking and debates more interesting, a touch of humor is added. Christopher Hitchens has proven over and over again that he is not above such chicanery.  As jobs are no longer available more and more people will have to turn to social programs and
also charitable organizations such as the one Mother Teresa started. Such organizations, be they private or governmental, may soon be no longer available.  So what is to become of our people who are not part of the power/elite when there are no social organizations to assist them in time of need. Again, the message that the New Atheists put forth is one of ridding our
social structure of such incompetent weaklings.  The New Atheists make few comments about the wars furthered by their partners in crime the neocons.  Also less about the exporting of jobs to countries where slave labor is not only acceptable but encouraged in the hallowed halls of our government, all for the benefit of the power/elite.  Nevertheless, the New Atheist message which in some ways mirrors what the power/elite wish to accomplish is catching and many who endorse their philosophy do not realize that they are not impervious to such lists of those who are dispensable.  The genocide that is going on right now is not accidental. Those who are killed in war are not of value to such as the New Atheists and their friends such as Paul Wolfowitz. Irony is,  members of our armed forces are not privy to such facts; a medal keeps them in line and they salute the flag that symbolizes the power structure of those betrayed them. The quest for oil and minerals in the countries we conquer and then set up with puppet governments are for the good of the power/elite who soon may put you on the dispensable list. It is no accident that the middle class is becoming a thing of the past. The future holds two classes: the power/elite who shall rule with an iron fist and the virtual slave class. This lower slave class will accept their fate, causing no problems, gratefully taking the morsels of food that are doled out. This a glimpse of the world to come, the world of the New Atheists,  as seen through the eyes of the typist.

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By Leefeller, August 22, 2010 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

I wonder if people who use Ouija boards, or as some call it the spirit board and then the real believers who call it the talking board, ....... win lots of money at the horse races?

A Love Story?

For some time now my brother Clyde has been dating a card carrying licensed Psychic.

When they first met, Clyde saw this old Cadillac stuck in the mud during a heavy rain storm. On the door of the Cadillac there was one of those plastic magnetic signs which read in large letters…. “Psychic” and in smaller letters below “Ask Natasha”  When Clyde went up to the lady siting behind the wheel it was love at first sight, (For Clyde it is always love at first sight). 

Clyde was so dumb founded and excited about this attractive women sitting in her car, stuck in the mud, he lost his tongue for a few moments,......  so after a brief moment of Silence, both staring at each other listening to the sound of rain pounding around them,  Clyde finally got up the nerve and asked her if her name was “Natasha” and if she needed a push?

She seemed so surprised she asked Clyde; “Oh….Are you a Psychic too!”

Well there you have it,  they have been together since!

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By elisalouisa, August 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

By PatrickHenry, August 20 at 9:21 pm

I wonder if Hitchens’ dry wit and overuse of adjectives will carry him in the next world as it did this one.

Good point Patrick Henry. According to Nemesis he may soon be standing at the entrance of hell with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other; Mother Teresa is at the entrance gate and in charge of admittance. Being aware of the aspersions Hitchens has hurled at her very being, I doubt he will be admitted. At the other end St. Peter guards his gate very closely so needless to say Hitchens’ dry wit will not be an influence there.
Souls refused admittance in both places must roam the realms of space, so you see all that space out there is put to good use.grin At some future time Hitchens  may experience rebirth as one of the poor who must rely on Mother Teresa’s sisters for food and shelter.

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By truedigger3, August 21, 2010 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Doing without pedantry, complexity and showing off, and keeping simple things simple IS NOT to reduce the quality of your posts, IF ANY, but to make them more easier to understand.
The purpose of posting is to convey ideas and opinions and it is not to show off and befuddle the readers.

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By Malcontent, August 21, 2010 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, August 21 at 2:33 pm

“It is not my intention to reduce my posts to the least common
denominator of ability to understand.”

I was thinking more of raising the level of discourse, by being clear. Continue to equate obfuscation and obscurity with intellectual merit, if you like.

“call me truly uncaring that you are incurious and what you want and choose to read is of no concern to me.”

Fair enough. Frankly this is getting way to personal for my “patronizing personal thimble-sized measure of what is true and what is caring” anyway. I mistook your post as a desire to communicate an idea, and asked for clarity. My bad. Ramble on.

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By Shenonymous, August 21, 2010 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

”If you truly care to share an alternate point of view with somebody,  your best bet is to strive for readability and clarity. Most people are
reluctant to carefully read conflicting ideas, in the first place. Why
make it a struggle.”

Primarily it was a fun philosophical-linguistic exercise and was not
any earthshaking proposition for anyone to consider for posterity. 
There were plenty of commas in my purposefully unperioded post. 
You obviously cannot process that kind of mental exertion.  The kind
of abstract thinking that was presented is beyond many ordinary minds. 
It is not my intention to reduce my posts to the least common
denominator of ability to understand.  If it is not your cup of tea, then
pass on by.  You arrogantly, and with much self-delusion, use yourself
as the standard for everybody else.  It is a frequent mistake made by
the denizens of the blogging world. Truly caring is a null criticism on
your part, Malcontent, and comes from your patronizing personal
thimble-sized measure of what is true and what is caring.  But I will say
this as far as my truly caring goes:  call me truly uncaring that you are
incurious and what you want and choose to read is of no concern to
me.

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By Malcontent, August 21, 2010 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

By Leefeller, August 21 at 12:18 pm

Opera is awesome. It has been my browser of choice for years. But, oddly, I still got the odd carriage returns in She’s posts. I am guessing she edits her posts elsewhere, the pastes them into the forum, thus transferring the carriage returns.

For what it’s worth, spelling out the word period, while cute, does not help a lack of commas. Nor does it help intelligibility.

If you truly care to share an alternate point of view with somebody, your best bet is to strive for readability and clarity. Most people are reluctant to carefully read conflicting ideas, in the first place. Why make it a struggle.

I read all of Nemesis’s posts, except the big ass paragraph. Seemed as though that particular idea wasn’t worth parsing for clarity, so I figured it wasn’t an idea he really wanted to get across.

Call me incurious.

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By Leefeller, August 21, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Well there you have it, it was my browser all this time and I had thought Shester had a nervious return key tic!
Belay my Kevetching or what ever that was, me apologies She!
So here I am using internet explorer at the speed of banana slugs. Anyway I do not have to try the Mac, I really liied using Opera!
Well not I can take a breath and read outloud Nemesis
un-periodic post! 
Another thing is I do not have spell checker on network Explainer!

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By Leefeller, August 21, 2010 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

She, it may only be me, but your posts seem as if
they do not seem structured corretly, it is like the return key was tapped and some of the lines are only one word.

I will check it out using different browsers and then checking on the Mac which I seldom use.

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By Shenonymous, August 21, 2010 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

Well my goodness.  Good morning all. 

Do no harm is my motto.  Is this a new parallax affliction, Leefeller?
Now I don’t really know what you are kvetching about (oh oh, that’s
a Yiddish expression, duh, not so popular on this highway of opinion)
since my last post had more than enough periods.  It was actually
glutted with them.  I simply spelled them out for those who would
miss them otherwise.  I only ask because I have been a self- deprecating Truthdipper for nigh on three years and you have
never said you had any trouble before.  You have even gone so far as
to thank me for my “informative” posts, a few times.

Please post a diagram of your train of thought and I will try to tailor
my paragraphs accordingly.  Exactly how many words in a sentence
fits your comfort zone?  You do know I am a very compliant female.
Or maybe not very, or maybe not at all?  I do carry a pair of syntactical
pistolas, holstered most of the time, of course, unlike some of the
grammatical big guns that go hunting on these threads and KAPOW!
Get that gal for not using any periods, period!  How dare She?  Who
cares why?  But I would make an effort for The Conduit of the Great
Unyun.

Being paragraphic is a linguistic disease of long-winded posters (uh…
er…uh…like…uh…me) and going the extra mile to parse them can be
wearisome and like bleeding a stone.  But if you dwell in the higher
strata of literature and philosophy, it is possible to wring out ideas,
most often containing more than a modicum of humor, and always
more than the ordinary banalities offered.  But if you now prefer the hit
and run flaming biting kind of comments, well when you see my name
as having had posted a new comment, you have my blessing to not
navigate to the forum to try to read it.  Hubris?  Probably 5 yups
worth.  Havana nice day. 

Oh, one more thing…parentheticals is also a writer’s disease that I do
suffer also.

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By Leefeller, August 21, 2010 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

She, I find your posts hard to read because the paragraphs are broken up and uneven for some reason, my train of thought is limited in how it perceives what it can absorb, for the same reason I skipped over Nemesis’ un-periodic post which I did not notice was un periodic, because it seemed apparent to me Nemesis post was un paragraphic,  thought it was a computer glitch or he had partaken in frivolous amounts of Scotch,  some posts or impossible to read on my 10 inch computer monitor, I must get myself one of those new 12 inch models from the thrift store.

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By Shenonymous, August 21, 2010 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

Well I was making an intellectual point, Malcontent, and having some
fun at the same time. period I did have the exactly the right number
of commas required for linguistic cogency and sorry you are not able
to follow the labyrinthine thought. period It must be the “modern”
Irish poet in me. period It does take mental fortitude sometimes to
track along a difficult piece of logic. period But a diagrammatic
analysis of it would show it was internally consistent. period I
suppose I could have used a semicolon or two, but I doubt that
would have helped you traipse through it. period Moreover, I was
thoroughly dazzled by nemesis2010’s tour de force paragraph sans
periods that I thought I’d give it a small try. period I thought it was
hysterical no one else noticed his masterful comment entry that showed
the mediocre calibre of mind that haunts these forums. period A
Lilliputian would be able to see from ALL my other posts that I certainly
know the virtue of a period. period   It was petty chauvinism-for-
periods to make such a complaint. period Letting go of the argument
now.

Regarding agnosticism, you have to separate what it means from
religious belief as it has nothing to do with god in particular the
exception being when knowledge is applied to whether there is one or
not.  One can strongly believe there is no justification for believing in a
god (strong atheism) and also believe there is no way to “know” whether
one does exist in the universe or not.  Again separating knowledge
from belief.  As I noted, one could also be a theist, even a strong theist
I should have said, and still say that absolute knowledge is not
obtainable, therefore, qualifying to be a theistic agnostic and say that
we cannot know with certainty the nature of god.  There are many such
believers about.  Fideists are such agnostic theists who insist that faith
is independent of reason and that faith and reason are antagonistic or
hostile to each other.  Their truth is based on faith.  Try Kierkegaard,
William James, and Wittgenstein for famous fideist philosophers.  Then I
did forget to include scientists in the ring of agnostics as any scientist
worth his/her salt would say there are no closed doors (uh…answers
absolute).  Sigh, so much for agnosticism.  I am not omniscient by the
way and I do make typos now and then for which I do not apologize
every time.  All I’ve said about this subject is google-findable.

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By Malcontent, August 21, 2010 at 12:12 am Link to this comment

By elisalouisa, August 21 at 12:46 am

“My last post to you on this thread”

Whatever.

“As to the book Atheist Delusions hysterical hyperbole is not what it is about Malcontent. However, you give me the impression that you do not care to read the book regardless”

If the book is that insightful, then it may behove you to post some of said insight, rather than crap like;

“Naturally one would not expect him to have squandered any greater labor of thought on the dust jacket of his book than on the disturbingly bewildered text that careens so drunkenly across its pages-reeling up against a missed logical connection here, steadying itself against a historical error there, stumbling everywhere over all those damned conceptual confusions littering the carpet”

or;

“Sam Harris shrieking and holding his breath and flinging his toys about in the expectation that the adults in the room will be cowed. Christopher Hitchens bellowing at the drapes and potted plant while hoping no one notices the failure of his assertions to coalesce with any other into anything like a coherent argument.”

Verbal vomit. Hack writing, no matter what the position or topic.

My booklist is long and libraries suck around here. Unless I turn up a free copy, I think I’ll still pass on that one.

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By elisalouisa, August 20, 2010 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

        A progressive ideology is one that sees what could              
                  be better and tries to make it so.

                   
As to the book Atheist Delusions hysterical hyperbole is not what it is about Malcontent. However, you give me the impression that you do not care to read the book regardless.

Quote from your post“At the end of the twentieth century—the century when secularization became an explicit political and cultural project throughout the world—the forces of progessive ideology could boast an unprecedentedly vast collection of corpses, Examples please.

Examples of what? If you really think the answer will come. Your sentence read that you wanted to know who was responsible for the vast collection of corpses not the ideology involved.  My definition in the blockquote would certainly involve the Cultural revolution in China and Stalin in all his atrocities. Both atheistic in nature.
Lighten up Malcontent, you don’t have to live up to your name. Now I am really off for the weekend. My last post to you on this thread.

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By Malcontent, August 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, August 20 at 11:03 pm

“I can see you are not used to rigorous thought. Nor does it seem can
you have some intellectual fun.”

Not when such ‘thought’ is in a badly punctuated stream of conciousness format.

I am aware of the linguistic origins of the term ‘agnostic’, from the greek, ‘gnosis’, popular use notwithstanding. Popular understanding often including invisible men and all.

Your historical knowledge of popular myth in the early centuries is beyond mine. Once I get past the understanding that a particular event in history occured, prompted by some irrational belief, I am good. My interest in being able to site passage and verse of the fairy tales, which inspired said beliefs, is very small.

” I would argue that all aspects of reality are ultimately
unknowable.  Hence my strong agnostic atheism.”

I am not sure I could definitively refute that theory. I would guess some might be, but not all. My only question would be, why do you persist (apparently) in discussing reality vs. myth, if it is all unknowable.

And if it is all unknowable, then you are, by my initial assesment and your own definition, an agnostic (of some sort). Yet you also claim; ” I am a strong atheist.” How can you be a strong agnostic and atheist?

Either way a theological discussion, complete with bible quotes, is meaningless to me. I prefer to talk about our best estimations of reality and to learn the many things I do not yet know about our universe, not to learn the history of popular myth.

Not sure what topic we got to arguing about, as I am an athiest. (not strong, as I don’t know, but I feel no compulsion to even give the myths any more thought than I have since I was a small child.) No matter…‘angels on the head of a pin’, ‘Solids being mostly space, on a molecular level’ and ‘nothing is real or knowable’ circular logic are not compelling at all to me. I was just trying to clarify your meaning, but I have lost interest, as there appears to be none.

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By Shenonymous, August 20, 2010 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

2.
From 70 AD onward to about 1200 AD persecution of Jews was made
by Roman pagans, then from about 306 AD systematically by
Christians.  Be it known that it was the Romans who crucified the man
called Jesus.  Anyone who thinks and says it was the Jews is delusional.

306: The church Synod of Elvira banned marriages, sexual intercourse
and community contacts between Christians and Jews.
315: Constantine published the Edict of Milan which extended religious
tolerance to Christians. Jews lost many rights with this edict. They were
no longer permitted to live in Jerusalem, or to proselytize.
325: The Council of Nicea decided to separate the celebration of Easter
from the Jewish Passover. They stated: “For it is unbecoming beyond
measure that on this holiest of festivals we should follow the customs
of the Jews. Henceforth let us have nothing in common with this odious
people…We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the
Jews…our worship follows a…more convenient course…we desire
dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of
the Jews…How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are almost
certainly blinded.”
337: Christian Emperor Constantius created a law which made the
marriage of a Jewish man to a Christian punishable by death.
339: Converting to Judaism became a criminal offense.
343-381: The Laodicean Synod approved Cannon XXXVIII: “It is not
lawful [for Christians] to receive unleavened bread from the Jews, nor to
be partakers of their impiety.“by Christians.
367 - 376: St. Hilary of Poitiers referred to Jews as a perverse people
who God has cursed forever. St. Ephroem refers to synagogues as
brothels.
379-395: Emperor Theodosius the Great permitted the destruction of
synagogues if it served a religious purpose. Christianity became the
state religion of the Roman Empire at this time.
380: The bishop of Milan was responsible for the burning of a
synagogue; he referred to it as “an act pleasing to God.”
415: The Bishop of Alexandria, St. Cyril, expelled the Jews from that
Egyptian city.
415: St. Augustine wrote “The true image of the Hebrew is Judas
Iscariot, who sells the Lord for silver. The Jew can never understand the
Scriptures and forever will bear the guilt for the death of Jesus.”
418: St. Jerome, who created the Vulgate translation of the Bible wrote
of a synagogue: “If you call it a brothel, a den of vice, the Devil’s refuge,
Satan’s fortress, a place to deprave the soul, an abyss of every
conceivable disaster or whatever you will, you are still saying less than
it deserves.”
489 - 519: Christian mobs destroyed the synagogues in Antioch,
Daphne (near Antioch) and Ravenna.
528: Emperor Justinian (527-564) passed the Justinian Code. It
prohibited Jews from building synagogues, reading the Bible in Hebrew,
assemble in public, celebrate Passover before Easter, and testify against
Christians in court.
535: The “Synod of Claremont decreed that Jews could not hold public
office or have authority over Christians.”
538: The 3rd and 4th Councils of Orleans prohibited Jews from
appearing in public during the Easter season. Canon XXX decreed that
“From the Thursday before Easter for four days, Jews may not appear in
the company of Christians.” Marriages between Christians and Jews were
prohibited. Christians were prohibited from converting to Judaism.
561: The bishop of Uzes expelled Jews from his diocese in France.
612: Jews were not allowed to own land, to be farmers or enter certain
trades.
613: Very serious persecution began in Spain. Jews were given the
options of either leaving Spain or converting to Christianity. Jewish
children over 6 years of age were taken from their parents and given a
Christian education

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By Shenonymous, August 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

3.
692: Cannnon II of the Quinisext Council stated: “Let no one in the
priestly order nor any layman eat the unleavened bread of the Jews,
nor have any familiar intercourse with them, nor summon them in
illness, nor receive medicines from them, nor bathe with them; but if
anyone shall take in hand to do so, if he is a cleric, let him be
deposed, but if a layman, let him be cut off.”
694: The 17th Church Council of Toledo, Spain defined Jews as the
serfs of the prince. This was based, in part, on the beliefs by
Chrysostom, Origen, Jerome, and other Church Fathers that God
punished the Jews with perpetual slavery because of their alleged
responsibility for the execution of Jesus.
722: Leo III outlawed Judaism. Jews were baptized against their will.
855: Jews were exiled from Italy.
1050: The Synod of Narbonne prohibited Christians from living in the
homes of Jews.
1078: “Pope Gregory VII decreed that Jews could not hold office or be
superiors to Christians.”
1078: The Synod of Gerona forced Jews to pay church taxes.
1096: The First Crusade was launched in this year. Although the prime
goal of the crusades was to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims, Jews
were a second target. As the soldiers passed through Europe on the
way to the Holy Land, large numbers of Jews were challenged: “Christ-
killers, embrace the Cross or die!” 12,000 Jews in the Rhine Valley alone
were killed in the first Crusade. This behavior continued for 8 additional
crusades until the 9th in 1272.
1099: The Crusaders forced all of the Jews of Jerusalem into a central
synagogue and set it on fire. Those who tried to escape were forced
back into the burning building.
1121: Jews were exiled from Flanders (now part of present-day
Belgium)
1130: Some Jews in London allegedly killed a sick man. The Jewish
people in the city were required to pay 1 million marks as
compensation.
1146: The Second Crusade began. A French Monk, Rudolf, called for the
destruction of the Jews.
1179: Canon 24 of the Third Lateran Council stated: “Jews should be
slaves to Christians and at the same time treated kindly due of
humanitarian considerations.” Canon 26 stated that “the testimony of
Christians against Jews is to be preferred in all causes where they use
their own witnesses against Christians.”
1180: The French King of France, Philip Augustus, arbitrarily seized all
Jewish property and expelled the Jews from the country. There was no
legal justification for this action. They were allowed to sell all movable
possessions, but their land and houses were stolen by the king.
1189: Jews were persecuted in England. The Crown claimed all Jewish
possessions. Most of their houses were burned.

You are advised to check this all out and I provide the sites for your
convenience:
1.  “Kitos War,” Wikipedia, at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/http://www.hearnow.org/caljp.htm
2.  Randy Felton, “Anti-Semitism and the Church,” at:
http://www.haydid.org/
3.  Fritz B. Voll, “A Short Review of a Troubled History,” at:
http://www.jcrelations.com/
4.  “Classical and Christian Anti-Semitism,” at
http://www.virtualjerusalem.co.il/
5.  Max Solbrekken, “The Jews & Jesus: Mistreatment of Jews:
Christian shame,” at: http://www.mswm.org/
6.  Fritz B. Voll, “A Short Review of a Troubled History,” at:
http://www.jcrelations.com/
7.  Bob Michael, “Jews as Serfs,” at: http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/

Christians are not the only religionists who engaged in the mass
murder of human beings.  The Muslims have a history from the
inception of their religion in the 7th century.  Buddhists had their “holy
wars.” The Hindus in the name of the gods Indra and Krishna murdered
thousands upon thousands others, other Hindus, Sikhs, but also
Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

No religion has clean hands nor a clean heart.

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By Shenonymous, August 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

In spite of being atheist, I do know about religion, Christianity and
the Bible.  Just to clarify some misbeliefs… in serial post form:
1.
The key Biblical theme is the concept that sin, guilt, and punishment
can ethically be transmitted from a guilty person to an innocent
person. This is easily found in various passages of the Bible from
Genesis to Revelation. The crucial passage is in Matthew 27:25: “Then
answered all the people and said, ‘His blood be on us, and on our
children’!” The author of the Gospel of Matthew wrote that the
responsibility for the execution of Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ) was
willingly accepted by first century CE Jews on behalf of themselves and
their next generation of children.  What is called Matthew’s Gospel is
not verified as being written by the Disciple.  It was not attributed to
him until the 2nd century. 

Together, this theme and particularly this Biblical passage were
irrationally interpreted by a vast number of Christians that all Jews
were equally responsible for the execution of Jesus. This included the
Jews who were present when Pilate sentence Jesus to be executed, other
Jews elsewhere in first century CE Jerusalem, the Jews in the rest of the
Roman Empire at the time, and all of the approximately 80 generations
of Jews from that time until the present. 

This is absurd and it was based on a fabrication.  A person obviously
cannot be held responsible for what some distant ancestor did almost
2000 years ago.  But somehow, due to mass hysteria, it made a lot of
sense to many Christians.  Even today, the term “Christ killer” is
sometimes spewed at Jews by the vile mouthed.

Continual past attempts at Jewish extermination need to be closely
examined and understood by everyone, in order to prevent future
religiously based genocides and mass crimes against humanity. 
Otherwise, there is no hope for a humanity that is not reconciled with
its savagery.

The religious intolerance and racism that were responsible for the
deaths of millions upon millions of Jews in the past differ little in
principle from the emotions that caused recent incidents of mass
murder, crimes against humanity, and genocide. For example:

The mass murder of Muslims by Christians in Kosovo.
The genocide of Muslims and Roman Catholics perpetrated by Serbian
Orthodox followers in Bosnia-Herzegovina. 
The extermination of one third of the Roman Catholic inhabitants of
East Timor by Muslims.

Neither Christian nor Jew, nor a Muslim, I am concerned that self-
deception and the deception of others will instigate a continuation of a
putrid history.  History shows that the horror that has been in the world
is the direct result of interpreted religion.  Every religion both West and
East and Middle East are the perpetrators of the worst evil that has
befallen humankind.

Therefore, posting a history in three sections on this forum is
demanded so that the deluded do not think they can get away with
their ignorant disinformation.  I call it a timeline of death at the hands
of religionists and I will start with the Jews first at the hands of
Christians.  These events of murder are listed from after the time of
the Romans to the end of the 11th century.

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By Shenonymous, August 20, 2010 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

I can see you are not used to rigorous thought. Nor does it seem can
you have some intellectual fun.  Not just agnostic, Mr. Malcontent.  I
am a strong atheist.  I care about humanity though.  Not all strong
atheists are alike or are murderous in their hearts. 

There are both atheist agnostics as well as theist agnostics.  The
term agnosticism is used fairly exclusively with respect to a single
issue: do any gods exist or not? Those who disclaim any such
knowledge or even that any such knowledge is possible are properly
labeled agnostics. Agnosticism has to do with epistemology. 
Knowledge and is a separate issue from religious belief.

The literal meaning of agnostic is one who argues that some aspects of
reality are unknowable. Therefore, an agnostic is not simply someone
who suspends judgment on an issue, but rather one who suspends
judgment because he feels that the subject is unknowable and
therefore no judgment can be made. It is possible, therefore, for
someone not to believe in a God yet still suspend judgment (that is, be
agnostic) about whether it is possible to obtain knowledge of a God. 
Such a person would be an atheistic agnostic.  This is the kind that I
am.  However, it is also possible to believe in the existence of some
powerful compulsion behind the universe, but to hold that any
knowledge of that force was unobtainable. Such a person would be a
theistic agnostic.  I would argue that all aspects of reality are ultimately
unknowable.  Hence my strong agnostic atheism.

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By Malcontent, August 20, 2010 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

By PatrickHenry, August 20 at 9:21 pm

“While I am not religious by any means ...I wonder if Hitchens dry wit and overuse of adjectives will carry him in the next world…”

You are funny.

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By Malcontent, August 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, August 20 at 1:47 pm

“Mr. Malcontent, we shall have a quantum of fun here.  Perhaps.”

Or perhaps not. Your obfuscatory post could have been more readable with a few commas. I’m not sure I care to try to reconcile math axioms with human perception. Although I could see how they might affect thinking on a quantum electrical/chemical level, I would have no clue how.


“As for the marvelous, that is a subjective matter of emotional evaluation”

I see. It seems to me, that any terminology whose definition is subjective, is useless in a discussion.

“Does this help?”

Perhaps.

The bulk of your post seems to imply that you are a strong agnostic, declaring that everybody’s opinion is invalid.

It seems a moot point, as we continue to try to understand and communicate anyway. As a species, I’d say we do a half-assed decent job of it.

And I will continue to speculate wildly, if I choose, but only believe that which I can quantify, thank you anyway.

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By Malcontent, August 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

By elisalouisa, August 20 at 6:37 pm

“Since you did not believe that my quotes were in the book Malcontent I must assume you did not read it.”

I, in fact, did not read it. The few quotes you provided were more hysterical hyperbole, than coherent ideas/objections, so I am left with no desire to read it. But, on to your lack of comprehension; I asked,“Regardless of whether you wrote any of that, or just copied and pasted it, one would assume you agree with it either way. Otherwise, what was your point in posting it?”

I never said, nor implied, it was not in the book. I asked, if you don’t stand behind the ideas, why did you post them?

“You ask for examples Malcontent of the vast collection of corpses that the last century brought about.”

No. I asked for examples of,”...the forces of progessive(sic) ideology could boast an unprecedentedly vast collection of corpses,”

There are twice as many humans infesting the earth right now, as when I was born. Population does not expand linearly. There will always be larger casualty counts, as populations grow and density increases.

“Stalin, Hitler, the Cultural revolution in China, the Vietnam war, Korean war, Iraq war, Kosovo war. There
is the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust.”

OK. Which one of those represents a “progressive ideology”?

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By PatrickHenry, August 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

elisalouisa,

I think you made a good point that most of this last century’s greatest mass murderers were atheists.  Stone cold deniers who believed this was it and nothing else exists because science cannot prove it.

While I am not religious by any means I prefer to be agnostic, just in case.  I do not know nor does anyone else alive and posting here what awaits us all after death.

I wonder if Hitchens dry wit and overuse of adjectives will carry him in the next world as it did this one.

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By truedigger3, August 20, 2010 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

nemesis2010,

I am wondering, whether you are stark ignorant or skilled bullshit artist because what you write about Iraq and the Middle East is pure bullshit and nonsense.
But you write very well, so I tend to think you are bullshit artist and a hired hack.
A person who write so well cann’t be that ignorant!.

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By elisalouisa, August 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

I agree completely with what I have quoted and posted from Atheist Delusions. Since you did not believe that my quotes were in the book Malcontent I must assume you did not read it.

I put such writings forward, not because I have all the answers or am thoroughly knowledgeable in what has been written but to share with you and others books and columns that I find of interest. How words are set down is important and therefore I am careful to quote what has been written; why would I want to dilute a gifted author’s words, unless of course that writing is
not before me, then I feel free to paraphrase. At times, I do not use links and quote from the column or book because I consider what is said too important, knowing that some will not go to the links but will on the other hand read what is set before them. Again providing a link for information is not a declaration
that I am thoroughly knowledgeable in what is written on that link anymore than providing a quote is.
As to your not believing your culture has a soul or a body I respond with the comment that reason does not go there.

You ask for examples Malcontent of the vast collection of corpses that the last century brought about. Are you daft? Stalin, Hitler, the Cultural revolution in China, the Vietnam war, Korean war, Iraq war, Kosovo war. There
is the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust. the foreign ethnicities such as Poles that Stalin targeted, 700,000 people were executed in the course of terror just in 1937 and 1938 with the great mass of victims being “ordinary” Soviet citizens: worker, peasants, homemakers, teacher, priests, musicians, soldiers,
pensions, ballerinas, beggars. Some experts believe the evidence released from Soviet archives in understated.
Scientists, physicists and all involved in Weapons of Mass Destruction participate in the slaughter of millions.  WMDs make the slaughter of humans more efficient.  Stalin was not a religious lunatic, nor was the Hitler of Cambodia, pol pot. Just think what these atheists could do today
with an arsenal of weapons.  Atrocities committed by such men are certainly not about religious ideology.
  There is no meeting place for the language we are engaging in for reason is but part of our equation which has an unknown quantity. Atheists demand that quantity, not realizing that such a part cannot be put within the concept of this sphere. The answer is beyond our realm. 
I bid you adieu, must get back to my real life and the weekend.

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By Shenonymous, August 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

I totally disagree with your disagreement, nemesis2010. Well almost
totally. In my opinion, which is worth as much as yours, and please
do not make the mistake that I am defending religion in any form,
you have not stated what is the essence of “true” Christianity.  Not
being a believer what its true essence escapes my powers of intuition.
Now I might agree that the Judeo/Christian/Muslim conception of god
is one who plays powerpolitics which is evidenced in their holy books
and hence is found in the behaviors of adherents.  So there is no
extant argument to the contrary.  Buddhism, which is considered by
many as a religion, but is not really a religion, is as much a death
cult as any religion in their desire to annhilate the self, which could
be metaphoric but that is not stated to be such.  I consider most of
what is found in the Abrahamic religion’s holy books is mostly
metaphoric as well but interpreted as holy f’n truth out of the fear
that is perpetrated by the clerics of these ecclesiastics.  I don’t
disagree with you much, but you do also tend to overstate some
points.  Uh, as much as you think women lack judgment, I would
have to argue that historically men lack it to an uncountable nth
degree given they are responsible for the lousy condition in which we
find this world and historically have found this world and some of which
you have benevolently listed.  It would be good if men exercised self-
control and found their own minds with which to do that task, but
given they have small minds…eh?  Perhaps a regular regimen of bastard
slapping would right the world up on its proper feet?  Now please do
not interpret my criticism of men as not having affection for any man.  I
do take a dim view of them in general, but there are some I dearly find
lovable and who are a cut above the rest.

Regardless of my “minor” criticisms, I think you are a stark realist and
articulate to boot, which I think the world needs more of, but I do not
have even an inkling how that can be brought about?  Boys are raised
to be real namby-pamby thumbsuckers.  Not that the males ought to
go out and smash each others private parts, which I gather is what they
really like to do as an indication of power, but males do need more of
the rational principle working in their infected brains.  Maybe in a
hundred years???  I do believe in evolution.

I tend to believe in a theory where catastrophe tends to settle down and
norms established until the next catastrophe, but this represents a
centennial amount of time.  It takes a long time for ideas to permeate
the range of mentalities found in societies let alone the world.  We are
an impatient breed, and want to see results NOW, but sometimes as
evolution theory tells us it might take a million years for a slight change
in physical attributes to learn through adaptation and avoidance to
actually be seen as significant.  As far as attitudes go, it has taken
about 2000 years so far for a great number of human intellects to learn
that no supernatural being interacts with natural phenomena and we
are part of that natural phenomena.

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By garth, August 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Looks as if Garth has placed the cart in front of the horse.- Leefeller

Whom (sic) is the decedent in your scenario concerning us here? NO one is dead yet. Night-Gaunt

You and Leefeller.  You’re both brain dead.

My direct comparison was in the 1st graph.  The implication was that this thread reminded me of somehthing.

Analogy I

Try this

A is to A as A is to A.

True or False.

Is that what you need?

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By Leefeller, August 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Looks as if Garth has placed the cart in front of the horse.

Great comments Nemesis, appreciative of the eloquent articulation and what a pleasure to read. All this food for thought most worthy of assimilation, dost not matter if in agreement or not!

The world seems so screwed, little matters of what the fearless leaders (opportunist) do, one thing seems clear to me, our fearless leaders care nothing about my needs and desires and I can assume I am not alone!

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By truedigger3, August 20, 2010 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

Lefeller wrote:
“I know he is an Arab is because he wears a Turbine on his head! “
______________________________________________

Lefeller,

Arabs in the US don’t wear Turbine or anything. A tiny minority of them and some Muslims wear “Takia”, which looks like a extended Jewish Yarmuka that covers part of the forehead.
Not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. There are sizable Christian Arab minorities in many Arab countries.
Those who wear Turbine are Indian Sikhs.
You say that I am one of those absolutists with blind convictions and you are ABSOLUTELY wrong about that. I am too old and have been around and saw a lot to be absolutist about anything and I am 1000% an atheist and before that I was Christian Eastern Orthodox.
I defend Arabs and Muslims because I hate and detest hysteria and hate mongering. I hate the lies and falsification and fabrication of their history and current events.
I hate hollier than you arrogance coupled with stark ignorance.
We live in a small world and this campaign of hate mongering can echo easily around the world and might lead to religious srife in some locations and many innocent people might get hurt, and may be that is the objective of this campaign of hate, fear and hysteria.  GOT IT??!!

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By nemesis2010, August 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

I.

By Shenonymous, August 19 at 12:58 pm

”Only a contingent of 50,000 “advisors” who will
still be combat ready (wisely) by the end of this month will be the
nature of US involvement.  That really is reason to be glad.”

It is a step forward although it’s nothing but a political ruse. “Combat” is simply a tag applied to units. I hope that this ruse has loopholes that will allow the “advisors” to continue receiving their combat pay because as far as I’m concerned they are all still in a combat zone.

By Shenonymous, August 19 at 12:58 pm

”Something that occurred sometime ago to me:  The state of
unemployment in this country is a huge problem.  I do not hold
Obama responsible for that increase or often static rate.  I do hold
the policies of the former political ideology responsible and their
affection for the corporate sector.”

I love it when neo-cons and conservatives and democrats and liberals sling mud at each other declaring their party’s economic policies better than that of their opponents. It’s all bullshit. It’s all Keynesian economic theory and it is in place the world over. 

The economic policy is simply a ruse to maintain the status quo. The most egalitarian economy that this nation has ever experienced was post WWII to the early 70s—and much of that was due to having been the only one left standing at the end of the war. There was absolutely no competition and torn and ravaged nations had to be rebuilt. The world was our oyster and life was good. (and don’t forget that world population was less than half its current number!)

It will be interesting to see if the Pentagon will allow all those servicemen on stop gap to finally muster out and if they’ll do as they did toward the end of the Viet Nam conflict by offering early discharges.

Many joined the service because of the lack of opportunity and there’s even less now. Obama may wish he had never applied for the job. No one man is ever responsible for employment. Obama isn’t any more responsible for unemployment than Bush was. Their administrations set policies that influence the market, but the bottom line is that it’s the market that determines jobs. (gee zeus… now the commies and socialists and libertarians and conservatives, etc. are going to come running with their drawers tied in a knot.)

Bottom line is that the “economy” is much bigger than Obama or any other man.

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By nemesis2010, August 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

II.

By Shenonymous, August 19 at 12:58 pm

”I do not believe those people had Christianity in their blood as they made decisions to disenfranchise the American people.  I believe they prostituted their religion for their self-serving economic and therefore power-politics purposes.”

I totally disagree; IMO that’s the essence of true Christianity. That’s the essence of all religion –including communism where the state is god.

The Muslim on Muslim hatred that you see in the Muslim world is the mirror image of Christianity. Christianity was founded upon Jew on Jew hatred. It then evolved into gentile on Jew hatred and further still to Christian on Christian hatred. Christianity is a death cult. The believer desires nothing more than to be with his jeebus. All this other stuff… morality, medicine, science, society, etc. means nothing to the Christians. They’ll gladly tear it all down if it means starting Armageddon in order to force the hand of their non-existent god to come for them and take them away from this sinful life. Which—btw—he is responsible for creating!

Has anyone been responsible for more human suffering than the Roman Catholic Church? Religion poisons everything.

IMO any female born in the West and not vociferously and vehemently in opposition to Islam is probably mentally ill and deserves to be corralled with the rest of the livestock. Any woman who claims to be part of the “sistahood” and isn’t appalled by women in veils and tents has forfeited all rights to label any man as a misogynist or sexist.

To me, such women are so lacking in judgment that they probably fool themselves into believing that men are unable to discern what is encased in a tent that requires 2 – 3 yards of material to sew together as opposed to one that requires 7 bolts of cloth and could have a label on it claiming: “family size, sleeps 12 adults.”

Islam is not alone in its male oriented and cruel subjugation of females and oppression and destruction of its own society—but there is no doubt that Islam wins the gold, with Judaism and Christianity tied for 2nd. The only thing missing in Islam today is the bitch-slapping which sent Judaism and Christianity to the back of the bus. The sooner it joins them there the better.

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By nemesis2010, August 20, 2010 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

III.

By Shenonymous, August 19 at 12:58 pm

”I believe the cleric Islamists commit a similar “sin” against their own people. But their problem is not really, in anyone’s reality, our problem.  That is a matter for the evolution of a civilization.  I am so convinced and I am willing to listen to any rational argument to the contrary.”

Congratulations! You did it! You hit the nail on the head! I knew you that you understood from the get go.

There’s something about you that reminds me of a very dear friend of mind that passed away many years ago. She and I could sit for hours on end discussing just about anything you could imagine; intelligent, bright, one of the most loving and kind human beings that I have ever had the opportunity to know and love. I truly miss her.

What we’re considering is where does our moral obligation to others begin and end. Also the question must be asked to what degree that obligation must be extended. And this is in no way a question that can be answered in dualistic fashion. It’s not either/or because there are innumerable variables that have to be taken into account and each situation is unique unto itself. Even the definition of “our” has to be defined on different levels.

This is why I was dead set against intervention in Iraq from the outset and at the same time can understand Hitchens’ stand for intervention. I can understand what he is saying but I’ve been unable to work that paradox out in my own life and come up with the same conclusion. I’ve given an example of the paradoxical nature of this problem with the Ethiopia and Cambodia comparisons where intervention prolonged human suffering and non-intervention produced the same results. Those are truly DUH! moments for all of humanity.

Iraq is another example. Intervention and the desire to set up a stable, democratic state in the Muslim world have resulted in a disaster that has cost the lives of many tens of thousands and destroyed the livelihoods of many millions more. Not only is it argued that it has brought the country to the brink of national bankruptcy but the costs in human suffering is impossible to calculate. It has thrown one of the world’s most unstable regions into further turmoil. It has drained our national treasury and eroded a goodly portion of our own liberties and freedoms that I sincerely doubt we’ll ever recover without a bloody fight and/or toppling of our own government.

Here’s where I stand on the Iraq issue:

There is no way to undo all that has been done. With respect to Iraq, the blame game is a dog chasing its own tail. The question that must be asked—IMO—is what will the Iraqis do with the opportunity that they have been given and what part should the U.S. have in it? And make no mistake, this is an opportunity. They have the opportunity to come together as a people and live under secular self-rule as opposed to authoritarian/religious tyranny.

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By nemesis2010, August 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

IV.

I don’t see that happening. IMO, we’re dealing with a people that have absolutely no history of democratic inclinations nor real desire for it. The history of the people and area has been one of ruthless internecine religious, ethic and political violence. In the West, society evolved over many centuries from authoritarian/religious tyranny toward more complex social democracies. (And it was a bloody and violent transition.) The idea of self-rule developed within our society and was gradually implemented to different degrees and at different rates by the many diverse European cultures. This opportunity has been thrust upon the Iraqis in a very short time. I don’t see anything to give me any hope of success without a very strong U.S. (or perhaps U.N.) presence like that in Japan and Germany post WWII.

One possible solution would be to break it up into 3 smaller nation states. But how will the Arabs react to an independent Shiite state on what they see as traditional Arab lands. With a Kurdish state Turkey comes into play with its concern of Kurds in Turkey demanding that the land they are on be joined with the new Kurdish state. We know that the two major hurdles preventing peaceful resolution in that area are the desire for the ruling class to maintain their authoritarian rule and that which poisons everything… RELIGION! (the church and the state working hand in hand to keep the masses subjugated)

Now… the question of moral obligation. I’ve no doubt that you’ve seen many posts by those supposedly concerned with women’s rights, the treatment of women and children in general, and even the “sistahood” as some have stated. Well, where do you “sistahs” want to draw the line? Are you concerned about all the sistahs or only the sistahs where you live because anything that benefits them benefits you and doesn’t require any real risk to your personal well being?

Where do we draw the line? Should we never intervene or always intervene? By what criteria should we judge when intervention is called for?

I haven’t the answers to all that. I’m divided within myself because one part desires that all the world could have the privilege to taste the freedoms that we here have had passed on to us while the other part of me knows that it’s way beyond our power.

When I look at the world, I can’t help but recall Michio Kaku and others speaking of our transitioning from a Type 0 to Type 1 civilization and the dangers that it poses to humanity. I really do believe that we are evolving toward Type 1. Another way to say that is that we are evolving toward a much more complex planetary government. The whole of our history has been a slow, methodical progression toward higher states of complexity.

I look at a map and see the U.S. with slightly diminishing liberties while most of the rest of the planet is slowly progressing toward more complex social democratic systems. The biggest trouble spots on this planet resisting change toward more complex societies are in the Muslim world where the Islamic fundamentalists want to regress even further back into the middle ages. Even China is moving away from a command economy to a more flexible capitalist system that will bring with it a move toward social democracy. It’s inevitable.

The jihadists cannot win. The only question that need be answered is how much bloodshed will there be in defeating them.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 20, 2010 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Whom is the decedent in your scenario concerning us here? NO one is dead yet.

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By Daye, August 20, 2010 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

What a fine bowl of Gravy my read of all this just
was. Hail Nemesis!

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By garth, August 20, 2010 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

This thread sounds like a pesky group of relatives, friends and acquaintances who went to visit a dying man in his hospital room and everything deteriorated to bedlam in the waiting room.

At a wake recently, I saw the same phenomena.  Late into the wake when all the attendees got to talking to one another, you couldn’t hear yourself think over the din.

Someone grabbed my arm and pulled me aside and pointed to the deceased.  He sad, “Look!  Everyone’s yelling at each other and the dear departed is still dead as a carp.”

It was an eerie reminder.

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By Leefeller, August 20, 2010 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

It seems a given, that I could hate something with a passion, but as to anyone including Trughdig 3 knowing with such absoluteness what that would be, suggests a short sightedness bordering on the south-side of stupidity!

For instance, something I hate with a passion would not bother me if it was preformed on a moron like Truthdig 3! Now, I know this posses some questions, but since Truthdig 3 suggests he can predict what other people are thinking or may what other people may believe he must know what I am talking about!

But in fairness to other posters who do not have these special skills in absolutism or physic mind reading (yes I mean physic for TD3 sake)  What I really hate with a passion is when my dog rolls in a dead skunk and drags it home like a Truthdig 3 trophy, then my dog attempts to lick me on my face!....... So it seems I do hate something with a passion!

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By garth, August 20, 2010 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

You lost me when the Indians attacked.  I ducked under a wagon and didn’t come out till the smoke cleared.

But not to worry, all you Islamophobes.  DemocracyNow! covered the story that the US withdrew from Iraq, and she noted that 50,000 non-combat troops (but, you know the Army, they’re combat ready) have been left behind to hold the fort or forts, enduring forts. 

With 7000 Special Forces to guard the embassies and handle insurgent incursions and who knows how many mercenaries (although PJ Crowley, spokesman for the State Department) said “It’s going to cost us a lot.”), the status quo is in good shape.

The NYT described the forces that will remain in a four-bulleted outline.  (I always wondered why history always occurs in bulleted lists.)  The last bullet said that the quick-attack forces will protect against insurgency.  What they meant to say is vandalism.

Look at where the enduring bases are.  They shadow the ample water resources of Iraq.  Water, water everywhere (look at Pakistan) and you’ve got to hope the Saudis and the Israelis don’t take it all.

As we used to say in grade-school waiting in line at the water bubbler behind a camel, “Leave some for the fish.”

So, all is still well.  We can knock off the attack against the muslims in NY and their wish to build a cultural center in the shadows of the WTC.

Israel will get the new US Air Force fighters, no matter what.  The Palestinians caved in on their demand that Israel stops plowing down Palestinian homes and olive trees before they’ll sit down and talk.  And they’ll leave Hamas in the largest prison camp in the world, Gaza, when they come to Washington.

So, things are looking up. 

But the workers of this country are still pissin’ & moanin’, “Where are the friggin’ jobs.”

That in a nutshell is the problem.  The powers that be have determined that there are just too many poor people.

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By Shenonymous, August 20, 2010 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Mr. Malcontent, we shall have a quantum of fun here.  Perhaps. 

Well what is the “truly marvelous?”  What could be truly marvelous? 
What is true could be relative so indefinable in any absolute sense. 
Or if it has any universality at all, then the only thing that is true,
which does count as one thing, is that there is nothing that is true.
Truly a paradox if ever there was one.  I refer you to Gödel’s
Incompleteness Theorem.  Now there might be a complaint that
this only applies within a closed mathematical system, and I would
counter that in order to see a larger picture of truth which truly
seems to be so huge as to be beyond anyone’s immediate grasp,
and to help the almost impossible situation, one has to artificially
corral it in a small space/time in order to immobilized it long enough
for our paltry human understanding to have even a small intuition,
then by projection, truth could be applied to the perceptible world. 
Whereupon, one could resort to coherence (that is make a comparison)
with what is the case with what is postulated to be the case.  If you
have an argument please don’t hesitate to share it.

As for the marvelous, that is a subjective matter of emotional evaluation
that rates the suberb factor, its excellence (arête in the Greek), a thing’s
ability to cause wonder, admiration, astonishment, surprise, and is seen
as extraordinary, meaning it is beyond the ordinary.  A matter of
improbable events.  And a matter of personal belief.

While some people do not make the distinction between the ideas of
subjective and objective, and in some sense I am one of those, it
becomes convenient to make that distinction when attempting to
understand the different mental states those who have minds can have. 
For instance the nature of emotion is said to be sourced in the mind,
and mind itself is a very slippery fellow (not really a humunculous), but
a difficult thing to clearly understand.  And that notion of clarity with
respect to understanding is related to our perceptive power of sight,
which ultimately is a hybrid of an object/subject action where there is
something that is not itself the action of sight, which is a subjective
action, but is a thing seen, an objective thing outside of our mind. 
Objectivity is also an iffy since we know that if we can perceive any
object at all, if that object were to be investigated fully, we might find
that its molecules are such that there seems to be a lot of empty space
between them and so it is made up of empty and the not empty space. 
Hence also difficult to grasp and we are left with an objective world of
seeming as well.

Does this help? 

What comments constitute uninformed judgments?  Why all that are
not paraphrased since judgments are subjectively originated objective
expressions.  One must demonstrate an understanding of what is being
offered to occupy the throne of truth.  Do you not agree?  Else we,
ourselves, would be justified in holding an opinion of disbelief, and are
further justified to think the one who offered the uninformed judgment
is entitled to their “opinion” and only their opinion.  Nothing more.

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By Malcontent, August 20, 2010 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, August 20 at 12:25 pm

Interesting post. I will tell you whether I agree or not, as soon as I discern what it is you were trying to convey.

“Judgment of the truly marvelous has to be subjective since there are
no ascendant criteria, hierarchically speaking, with which to judge
objectively, meaning keeping one’s self-generated suspicions in an
unconscious state of mind.”

Please define the “truly marvelous” that cannot be defined objectively and also “keeping one’s self-generated suspicions in an
unconscious state of mind.”

“... uninformed judgments
are abortive since one judgment is as good by any measure of
evaluation as another and only one’s ego gets in the way of seeing
that…”

Makes sense to me. But again, it is unclear what comments constitute “uninformed judgments” to you.

Please don’t judge me by the turbine on my head. It helps me to escape the islamo-facsists faster. (Of course, only after I steal their fuel.)

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By Shenonymous, August 20, 2010 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

Judgment of the truly marvelous has to be subjective since there are
no ascendant criteria, hierarchically speaking, with which to judge
objectively, meaning keeping one’s self-generated suspicions in an
unconscious state of mind.  So in that case, uninformed judgments
are abortive since one judgment is as good by any measure of
evaluation as another and only one’s ego gets in the way of seeing
that, which is the basis for hubris, or utter insolence and if you don’t
understand the word ‘insolence’ it is strongly suggested that you
stop pretending your opinion is worth anymore than the contents
of your bowel movements.

You are a very funny electronic ghost, Leefeller.  First of all Arabs don’t
wear turbines, as those are kind of machines that usually has a rotor
with blades driven by the pressure of some kind of fluid that is moved
by a pump or motor.  Some are impulse turbines and others are
reaction turbines.  Now by adding those adjectives impulse and reaction
that may be applicable to certain ethnic groups in terms of their
psychology and psychology does happen in the head but not on it. 
Now Hindus do wear turbans, as do many Arabs, but not all Arabs wear
turbans, and not all Hindus do.  So your measure of why the cigar shop
owner is Arab will need some reinforcement as your ‘knowledge’ is a bit
shakey.  But I enjoyed discussing turbines, nonetheless.  It is my
uninformed opinion that you are correct on everything else you said. 

But it also seems to me that plumbers who specialize in toilets are
essential especially to the lame brains, particularly those who have no
capacity to paraphrase quotes however effete the quotes might be, that
populate this forum as they will need all the help they can get to
extract their brains out of the toilet that is clogged with their own
excrement.  Notice I have not named any names!  It is easily seen on
whose feet the shoes fits.  Toilet plumbers ought to be given solid gold
medals for their bravery.  Existing in the objective world, they
guilelessly remove those heads without any subjective comments. 
Well…that is maybe not true.

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By Malcontent, August 20, 2010 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

By elisalouisa, August 20 at 3:15 am

Regardless of whether you wrote any of that, or just copied and pasted it, one would assume you agree with it either way. Otherwise, what was your point in posting it?


I’m guessing from your response, you feel unable to answer any critique of it.

@Leefeller

I want a turbine on my head too. Imagine how fast I could go on my bicycle.

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By Leefeller, August 20, 2010 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

The fear of the Religious such as the Pope, the Saudi Arabians and like some here, may be in the concept the New Atheists will become organized and build a bigger temple without paying taxes and expose their myths for what they are!

After little forethought, in-fact none at all, it should be clear, my give a crap feelings on Truthdigger3’s absolutism regarding my passions towards whom or what I hate (as he says it with a passion) seems most Truthdigger3 stupid, but what can I say?

How about this for an absolutism, Imbeciles permeate the world with blind convictions and here on Truthdig, we see an emulation of the worlds proclivity to foster morons!

If I hate anything with a passion, it is not Arabs and Muslims, though I can say with conviction I have an affinity towards all Religions and other Fanatical organizations who perpetuate stories and myths as truths in order to collect money and twist the small minds of minions which many call believers, this would include Fox News?

Though my experience with Arabs is limited, there is an Arab who runs a small Stop and Shop down the road, he does not speak the Queens English, but I still buy my Crook cigars from him without any fear or discomfort, I am not profiling here, the reason I know he is an Arab is because he wears a Turbine on his head!

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By elisalouisa, August 20, 2010 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

I, in turn Leefeller suggest that you read the book, Atheist Delusions. Then you might be more able to discuss it.  If you could put aside your disdain as to Christianity and people who find something positive about it you might cross that curtain of prejudice and really learn something.

David Bentley Hart had the courage to respond to the New Atheists. Not to many do for they are a power house. Another such person is Chris Hedges,one of your favorites.grin You in turn are free to quote the New Atheists, shedding light or darkness on this thread as the case may be.

As Stefan Beck New Criterion tell us:
Few thing are so delightful as watching someone who has taken the time to acquire a lot of learning casually, even effortlessly, dismantle the claims of lazy grandstanders. . .Hart isn’t making a bid for wealth, fame, or cocktail party acceptance. He knows whereof he speaks..

Here’s to quoting great writers who aren’t in it for fame or wealth. What better tribute to pay to such a writer. Hart’s views are my views, more aptly put.

Quit nagging me about any awards. Period. I commend Patrick Henry for his apt description of county fair plumbers.

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By PatrickHenry, August 20, 2010 at 3:32 am Link to this comment

Celebrity plumber? kinda like Joe the plumber.

Grunts, the backbone of the Marine Corps carry an MOS of 0311 and yes it is a cult.  The term POG’s - persons other than grunts has been around as long as REMF’s. which I suspect combat celebrity plumbers are, basic rifleman second.

Being a steamfitter by trade I deal with alot of plumbers, celebrity and alike and those working around toilets are inclined to have their head close to the throne of many asses.

County fair plumbers are a select breed sorta like pygmy goats.

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By Leefeller, August 20, 2010 at 2:38 am Link to this comment

Serial Plumber Leefeller here!

Not sure about…... “Sam Harris shrieking and holding his breath and flinging his toys about in the expectation that adults in the room will be cowed. Christopher Hitchens bellowing at the drapes and potted plants”, ......now in my case, on occasion I have been known to throw empty Tequila bottles across the room and since I do not bellow, I have quite often cursed at stupidity when stubbing my toe on ignorance!

“Excerpts from “Atheist Delusions” by David Bentley Hart?  Me thinks, Elisalouisa, seems to be trying to take away my Chicken Little Award this Novemeber, but at least I write my own thoughtlessness!........  one could easily suppose Elisolouisa may be attempting to influence the award.

The New hot to trot Atheist compared to the old frumpy Atheist, in response to books written by Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris.  Elisolouisa, have you read any of these books and if you did is it possible a comprehensive comparison could be done instead of extensive quotes? (just a suggestion question) 

Keeping the quotes to your self and instead expressing your opinion possibly in your own words would be much more appreciated, for then it would be a personal opinion instead of cut and paste.  If I recall when I was in school I had to do book reports, my teacher wanted me to learn how to express my thoughts on the book, well to show I had actually read the book and tracing the book word for word was frowned on by my third grade teacher, all I can say is, thank the world for comic book classics!

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By elisalouisa, August 19, 2010 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

If you will notice Malcontent my very first sentence is
Excerpts from Atheist Delusions David Bentley Hart

Except for my two comments, the entire post consisted of excerpts from the book which the author can further elucidate on if he wishes to do so.

Your question: Wasn’t the “relative vapidity of our culture that we have lost the capacity to produce profound disbelief” the entire point of the book?
Perhaps.  The quoted paragraph from Atheist Delusions in post to Night-Gaunt August 19 at 11:57 pm more aptly described what I feel emanated thoughout the book and cannot be underestimated. A secular age has commenced and the author leaves open as to the unknown implications of this.

As to my Jeebus on a ritz cracker does that bring someone to mind? comment, that was an inside joke.
Again the author on page 220 paperback uses the phrase: Sam Harris shrieking and holding his breath and flinging his toys about in the expectation that adults in the room will be cowed. Christopher Hitchens bellowing at the drapes and potted plants while hoping no one notices the failure of any of his
assertions to coalesce with any other into anything like a coherent argument.
  Go to Amazon and check it out.

If you will notice in my post the words Bentley continues are not in italics. You erroneously put quotation marks before the word Bentley.
My post was not my diatribe. They were direct quotes from the book.

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By Malcontent, August 19, 2010 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

“jeebus on a ritz cracker”?

I thought jeebus was a cracker, with wine for blood.

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By Malcontent, August 19, 2010 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

” As a historical force religion has been neither simply good nor simply evil but has merely reflected human nature in all its dimensions. By that same token, and also in purely practical terms, it borders on willful imbecility to lament the rise of Christendom, or to doubt the achievements of the culture that the Christian synthesis of Judaism and Hellenism produced, or to refuse to grant that whatever it is Hitchens means by religion, gave life to both the soul and the body of that culture.”

Wow. Complete meaningless drivel. My culture has a soul? I didn’t even know it had a body.

“At the end of the twentieth century—the century when secularization became an explicit political and cultural project throughout the world—the forces of progessive ideology could boast an unprecedentedly vast collection of corpses, Examples please. but not much in the way of new moral concepts.what is wrong with our current sense of right and wrong. Elimination of the ancient stories don’t change them. They are not the pervue of religious folks only. At least none we should be especially proud of.  For the most part, all we can claim as truly, distinctively our own are our atrocities. . . And said atrocities are more about the concepts and knowledge of science and less about any religious idiology?
“The old order could generally reckon its victims only in the thousands. But the new age, the secular age, with all its
hitherto unimagined capacities, could pursue its purely earthly ideals and ambitions only if it enjoyed the liberty to kill millions. How else could it spread its wings?”

One assumes you are referring to nuclear holocaust. Surely science is responsible for the technology, but are you seriously implying those same scientists (on average) would want to kill millions? Or is that more likely to be some religious lunatic, who doesn’t believe in the technology he possesses, who will use it anyway?

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By Malcontent, August 19, 2010 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

“Naturally one would not expect him to have squandered any greater labor of thought on the dust jacket of his book than on the disturbingly bewildered text that careens so drunkenly across its pages-reeling up against a missed logical connection here, steadying itself against a historical error there, stumbling
everywhere over all those damned conceptual confusions littering the carpet

Did you mean, like this post? Examples of “missed logical connections”,“historical errors” or “conceptual confusions” please. (For what it’s worth the text in my copies, neither careen across the page, nor litter my carpet.)

“but one does still have to wonder how he expects any reflective reader to interpret such a phrase. Does he really mean that everything? Would that apply then—confining ourselves just to things Christian—... and so on and on.”

On balance, comparing good deeds to bad deeds, just about everything.

“Bentley continues: As I have already complained, the tribe of the New Atheists is something of a disappointment. It probably says more than it is comfortable to know about the relative vapidity of our culture that we have lost the capacity to produce profound disbelief.”

Wasn’t the “relative vapidity of our culture that we have lost the capacity to produce profound disbelief” the entire point of the book?

  The best we can now hope for
are arguments pursued at only the most vulgar of intellectual levels couched in a carpingly pompous tone.(elisa: Jeebus on a ritz cracker does that bring someone to mind?)

Again, are you referring to his book or this post? Your posts, are what come to my mind. For instance;“Sam Harris shrieking and holding his breath and flinging his toys about in the expectation that the adults in the room will
be cowed. Christopher Hitchens bellowing at the drapes and potted plants.” Are you serious? Talk about “the most vulgar of intellectual levels couched in a carpingly pompous tone.”

” while hoping no one notices the failure of his assertions to coalesce with any other into anything like a coherent argument.”

I certainly didn’t notice that, but again, it does acurately describe your diatribe.

“Can one really believe—as the New Atheists seem to do—that secular reason, if finally allowed to move forward, free of the constraining hand of archaic faith, will naturally make society more just, more human and more rational than it has been in the past?”

Yes. And I am an old athiest.

“What evidence supports such such expectation?”

The fact that morals are manmade, not devine. That fact that rational outcomes, from irrational positions are improbable. Of course our humanity, vs. bogus superstition would make us inherently more “human”. It won’t “naturally” happen. Like everything worthwhile, it will take effort. Conversely, the world as it stands, does not support your implied contention that faith actually makes anything better.

“But even in purely practical terms, to despise religion in the abstract is meaningless conceit.”

No. In “purely practical terms” progress requires a true understanding of where we now stand.

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By Leefeller, August 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

Suspicions seem important when facts are not needed in the minds of the mad and the deluded. As for my plumbing capability, I hold the county speed record for Urinal Changing at our county fair and am sort of a well known celebrity plumber in the community.
There are 31 and a half acronyms for “POG”, of course the important thing is to understand, the limited suppository complex of the small mind. For example the Ostrich is the only living creature aside from bigots and Republicans whose eye is much larger then their brain!
For what it is worth, all Marines are grunts first and their MOS second, except in the case of grunts it is suspected they are not enlightened enough to have an MOS, which would require a brain larger than an Ostrich! Hence the necessary superior attitude of the grunt Groupie thing which requires them to tout anyone not of their special groupie grunt Status as POG ; “Personal other than groupie!

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By elisalouisa, August 19, 2010 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt:
According to the author the end of the twentieth century or somewhere in the twentieth century was the beginning of the secular age. To better understand why the author comes to this conclusion one would have to read the book. David Bentley Hart goes on to say:

“But I have operated throughout from the presupposition, that in the modern West, the situation of Christianity in culture at large is at least somewhat analogous to the condition of paganism in the days of Julian, though Christianity may not be quite as moribund. . . .In a sense, Christianity permeates everything we are, but in another, it is disappearing, and we are changing as a result and something new is in the centuries long process of
being born. . . . For centuries the Christian story shaped and suffused our civilization; now, however slowly but relentlessly, another story is replacing it and any attempt to reverse that process is probably futile. we are not pagans; we are not moved by their desires or disquieted by their uncertainties. We live
after the age of Christendom, and cultures do not easily turn back to beliefs of which they have tired or with which they have become disenchanted.”

I purchased Atheist Delusions sometime back but did not get into it until recently, wanting to know more about the New Atheists and also other views the author had. After reading it, I very much agree with the above paragraph. It is my intention to read Atheist Delusions more thoroughly. I definitely recommend it if one is interested in perhaps catching a glimpse of what may come to be.You are correct Night-Gaunt, we should be building bridges rather than walls, however, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards at this time.

Link to the Nibiru that Nemesis mentioned:
http://www.surviving-nibiru.com

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By Shenonymous, August 19, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

Woof!  Just having some fun, TD3.  It gets too serious…bah humbug.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 19, 2010 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

elisalouisa what secular age? If we had one it was about a minute long. Religion still rules and it is getting more violent and imperial. And I don’t mean Islam but Christianity controlled by the most powerful country the USA mucking things up. Certain of the major religions, including Islam, are among a few getting more fundamentalist and uninterested in live and let live for others.

I don’t agree with the ‘New Atheists’ militant and contentiousness in the world. We already have enough of that from the religionists.

Building bridges, not walls is what we need to all be doing if we are going to survive this.

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By truedigger3, August 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Huh.!!! You are barking again!!!

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By Shenonymous, August 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Lots of Laughs cause PH looks like a twin of TDer3.  Leefeller
is da bomb.  And he raises butting goats and it has been said
he could kick the bejeezus outta anyone and that is something
given he is only 3 feet tall and weighs 300 lbs.  I’m glad he rolled
in with his blue plate special brand of humor.  He might be one of
those fat guys though, but I dont’ think so.  From what I hear, not
an inch of fat on him.  It just rolls right off of him.  He is the human
contact, uh…er…I should say human conduit, for….......
The Great Unyun.

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By Shenonymous, August 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

Marvelous!  An amazing post nemesis2010, without one period!
Not even one at the end.  Impressive that you kept it grammatically
correct.  Well almost, and almost is good enough.  Here are a few
extras….......... LOL.  It was a hoot.  But now let’s see what exactly
did you say?  They are really bad fat delusional dudes.  Aw you
know there are fat guys in the CJBs too.  But you weren’t talking
about fat guys though, you were talking about mad hatters and
reptilians walking around and acting like humans.  A galactic ovarian
banquet?
  How about with testosterone sauce?  You do seem to
focus on belittling the ladies and fail to berate your fellow fellows.  You
know that equal time rule thingy. Not a kid, I am still rather protective
of ovaries.

Truedigger3’s penchant to not only denigrate others and even to
presume garth cannot discern anything on his own, shows a self-made
opinion of smug superiority with patronizing language.  What gives? 
Don’t you think garth can notice things on his own, come to his own
conclusions, and make comments of his own?  Seems like if you have a
beef with Leefeller you ought to take it up with him directly instead of
using garth as your shill.

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By elisalouisa, August 19, 2010 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Why the 3? Because Truthdigger3’s posts are 3 x as effective.

Speaking of numbers, is there a sequel to your untitled post Nemesis? Some of the children’s serials such as The Land Before Time have run out of ideas. Jeebus on a Ritz cracker, perhaps you should submit one of your epics to Universalstudios. You might have to tone down the ovarian banquet theme, remember your audience is children.

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By PatrickHenry, August 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

garth,

Leefeller is an serial posting plumber whose graced the “truthdig hallows” for several years, his moronic postings demonstrated by the last two. 

He must suck as a plumber because he is always here posting and not plumbing.

Bagels, horse and pony shows, number three?  get a grip.

I recall his claim of being a Marine in the airwing, it was some time ago.  I salute his service but suspect he was a POG. 

From what read from nemisis2001’s military service, it rings true to me.

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By elisalouisa, August 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Excerpts from Atheist Delusions David Bentley Hart

The rather petulant subtitle that Christopher Hitchens has given his God Is Not Great is How Religion Poisons Everything.
Naturally one would not expect him to have squandered any greater labor of thought on the dust jacket of his book than on the disturbingly bewildered text that careens so drunkenly across its pages-reeling up against a missed logical connection here, steadying itself against a historical error there, stumbling
everywhere over all those damned conceptual confusions littering the carpet—but one does still have to wonder how he expects any reflective reader to interpret such a phrase. Does he really mean that everything? Would that apply then—confining ourselves just to things Christian—to ancient and
medieval hospitals, leper asylums, orphanages, almshouse and hostels and commands to feed and clothe and comfort those in need? To Michelangelo’s Pieta. to the Abolitionist movement the civil rights movement and so on and on.

Bentley continues: As I have already complained, the tribe of the New Atheists is something of a disappointment. It probably says more than it is comfortable to know about the relative vapidity of our culture that we have lost the capacity to produce profound disbelief. The best we can now hope for
are arguments pursued at only the most vulgar of intellectual levels couched in a carpingly pompous tone.
(elisa: Jeebus on a ritz cracker does that bring someone to mind?) Sam Harris shrieking and holding his breath and flinging his toys about in the expectation that the adults in the room will
be cowed. Christopher Hitchens bellowing at the drapes and potted plants
(elisa: which I would assume when the recipients of such negative energy would immediately wither) while hoping no one notices the failure of his assertions to coalesce with any other into anything like a coherent argument.
Can one really believe—as the New Atheists seem to do—that secular reason, if finally allowed to move forward, free of the constraining hand of archaic faith, will naturally make society more just, more human and more rational than it has been in the past? What evidence supports such such expectation? Even in purely practical terms, to despise religion in the abstract is meaningless conceit. As a historical force religion has been neither simply good nor simply evil but has merely reflected human nature in all its dimensions. By that same token, and also in purely practical terms, it borders on willful imbecility to lament the rise of Christendom, or to doubt the achievements of the culture that the Christian synthesis of Judaism and Hellenism produced, or to refuse to grant that whatever it is Hitchens means by religion, gave life to both the soul and the body of that culture.
At the end of the twentieth century—the century when secularization became an explicit political and cultural project throughout the world—the forces of progessive ideology could boast an unprecedentedly vast collection of corpses, but not much in the way of new moral concepts. At least none we should be especially proud of.  For the most part, all we can claim as truly, distinctively our own are our atrocities. . .
The old order could generally reckon its victims only in the thousands. But the new age, the secular age, with all its
hitherto unimagined capacities, could pursue its purely earthly ideals and ambitions only if it enjoyed the liberty to kill millions. How else could it spread its wings?

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By nemesis2010, August 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

As for them they are always saying that the moderates are not them but then they never see any moderates protesting what they have done and the misery heartache and suffering that they have wrought on their own brothers and sisters but they don’t protest because they ain’t as stupid as they are because they know that if they protest what they have done then they will cut their heads off and rape their daughters and their mothers and their sisters and stone them when they are pleased to do it on the other hand with the pyramid tin foil mad hatters who claim that they don’t mean any harm because they didn’t do it and it doesn’t matter that they have admitted that they did do it and that they promise to continue to do it and they are doing it to the pyramid tin foil mad hatters it can’t be true because what would they do without a good juicy insane conspiracy theory about what they said being a lie that they fabricated so that they could pull a fast one over their eyes and that they needed an enemy even though they have more than enough enemies already but to them mad hatters logic is crazy and they maintain a closed mind to the truth anyway but still know that they did it because when Nibiru is between the base axis of the twilight zone and the alpha helix of the Andromeda Strain the poles will shift and they will shed their human suits and walk around in their reptile bodies but it will too late to stop them because they have refused to alert them about what they are planning and they are planning to serve man as the main dish at a millennium super galactic ovarian banquet complete with valet parking in place of conjecture they should try providing evidence because they has to be clearly defined because who can really tell one they from another they when pronouns can be used arbitrarily and without the nouns in whose place they are used but then not everyone has a 5th grade level comprehension of the English language nor do they have the sense that god gave to a jackass because this is a known gimmick to keep them in the dark and suck out those nickels and dimes from their pockets which keeps them living a life of luxury feeding them stories about how the reptiles have taken over the earth and that they are raising humans as a food supply that they need because they have destroyed their planet and need a new food source and that’s why watching Fox News makes you fat and republicans and corporations make you obese because they prefer their food fat and juicy they are doomed and they know that 2012 will be the end for all of them and they will live on and rule

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By Leefeller, August 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

My passions and hates are sort of like bagels, sometimes they seem real good and fulfilling and other times they sort of suck!

When I hate something with a passion, my senses seem to become to sort of turn into mush, just like many of moronic posters here on Truthdig, so I always right go for the juggling…... horse and pony show!

I know what number one is and I know what number two is, but what the hell is number three,...... Truthdig number three?  This groupie thing seems out of hand, maybe someone could explain it to me, because I suspect it is something which has nothing to do with anything!

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By Leefeller, August 19, 2010 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

On these here Truthdig Hallows, I have seen articulate points attacked with simplistic name calling more times than I could count on the combined toes of Imbeciles are us, (which is a mighty large number of toes).

So every time I see an idiot handed their ass on a platter, wonders never cease, the Black Knight from Monty Pythons “Search for the Holy Grail ” seems alive and well!

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By truedigger3, August 19, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

garth wrote:
“Since the Bush and his influential neocons left power the shift in geo political interests is no longer in the mid east. They are all but abandoning Israel.”
____________________________________________________

garth,

No way, Hose!
Obama is a neocon, through and through, and is rolling on the same tracks W Bush was rolling on.
Obama policies both domestic and foreign are continuation of W Bush policies but with different clothes and make-up.
Obama being a black, Democrat and claiming to be a progressive coupled with tooth-paste smile and moving speeches, initially deceived a lot of people both in the US and abroad, but people are wising up gradually and as they say, “where is the beef?”.
China is nothing but a huge sweat-shop for the trans-national corporations, mostly US, who are taking advantage of low wages, and weak and mostly uninforced environmental and labor regulations.
The Chinese economy depends on these sweat-shops and it is a mutual advantage relation between China and the US and for the foreseeable future I don’t see any change in that or any REAL problems
Russia is moving gradually to integrated economic relations with the EU, but I admit the future still uncertain, and Russia has endemic corruption at all levels, which is preventing it, for now, from being effective international entity.
The middle East will stay number one subject to the US forign policy, for a long time to come, and I see no fundemental changes there, and Israel will still be the US spoiled pampered daughter, may be, in a more discreet and slightly toned down way.

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By truedigger3, August 19, 2010 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

garth,

Leffeller hates Arabs and Muslims with passion.
He will support and defend anyone who attacks them, no matter how their logic is faulty and flimsy,  and their knowledge of history and current events is lacking, or deliberately fabricated, and and will attack anyone who argue with those ignorant or mallicious attackers who are, some of them , I am sure, are paid hacks or have career objectives in a Zionist or neo-con dominated entity.

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By Shenonymous, August 19, 2010 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

Well it looks like the wind down in Iraq has begun.  The combat
troops have left.  Only a contingent of 50,000 “advisors” who will
still be combat ready (wisely) by the end of this month will be the
nature of US involvement.  That really is reason to be glad. 

Something that occurred sometime ago to me:  The state of
unemployment in this country is a huge problem.  I do not hold
Obama responsible for that increase or often static rate.  I do hold
the policies of the former political ideology responsible and their
affection for the corporate sector.  I do not believe those people had
Christianity in their blood as they made decisions to disenfranchise the
American people.  I believe they prostituted their religion for their self-
serving economic and therefore power-politics purposes.  I believe the
cleric Islamists commit a similar “sin” against their own people.  But
their problem is not really, in anyone’s reality, our problem.  That is a
matter for the evolution of a civilization.  I am so convinced and I am
willing to listen to any rational argument to the contrary. 

With respect, then, to this problem of unemployment.  If our troops
were to be deployed to return home, these guys/gals would need to
phase back into society and would need jobs.  There aren’t many
available and these people would automatically go on the dole from the
US Treasury of the unemployed.  I do believe this is a factor for delaying
any end to wars that have in our recent history been ongoing for about
10 years, no meager quantity of time. 

I would be interested in others perception of this and if I have any
legitimate concern.

I don’t suspect, nemesis2010, that you were not against the war (Iraq, I
presume) from the start.  I don’t know about standing with men like
Hedges and Vance, but I think you were right about your position. 
Those on the far left are as irrational as those on the far right who also
earn the adjectives you used to describe the CJBs (cosmic justice
brigadiers), deep inside.  Irrationality knows no particular political
persuasion. 

You have the key question that has not been voiced yet on these
forums.  How will prevention of the kind of war that has been waged in
our lifetime will ever occur again?  It seems like there ought to be
simple answers.  But that only presumes we are the only side to any
war.  I believe besides taking advantage of situations, such as coveting
natural resources (i.e., oil), I believe we are essentially reactive as a
society and the pretext of bestowing democracy on essentially backward
and primitive peoples is an arrogance for those who psychically are not
ready. 

If bloodshed and horror takes place, I think we have to be very callous
about it.  It is not the price that Americans exacts, but the cost of
ignorance and medieval mentality of a country not yet set in the 21st
century and has not caught up with the dynamics that rules this century
and their fate.  It might seem cynical but I think I am being realistic.  It
is not even important who were or were not big or biggest pro-war
groups.  The real conflict is in Iraq and its neighbors itself and it is
between the struggle of tribal factions.  That is primitive and yes, is
heavily based in justifications found within their interpretation of
religion. This is found among the Jews as well who thought for
millennia they were Divinely Chosen People, and by extension, then, so
do Christians think.  It is a matter of evolution of thought.  An evolution
of the mind which has not caught up yet with the body.  And who
knows if our bodies have finished its evolution?

As you can see I more agree with you than disagree.  What happens in
Iraq now, bloodbath or not, is a matter of time.  For our part, the
complete (so to speak for all tenses and purposes) withdrawal of
America’s military command is now a fact.

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By garth, August 19, 2010 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Leefeller,

I never said I was in the marines.  I said this imposter, Neme, wasn’t.

You say the following:

“After observing such pathetic responses by some posters in attempted response to Nemesis comments, I must interject my suspiciousness.  The word is ‘suspicion’.

I suspect Garth and Patrick Henery were not in the Marine Corps together doing the group thinking dance and I have several other suspicions (you got it right here.) about them. But,... because I am polite (Please, be impolite. No one’s keeping score.) and will not mention any further here why those suspicions are suspicions. Though here is a tip, it has something to do with where the sun don’t shine! (And where is that pray tell?  Is that where your head is permanently stuck?

—————

Here’s a clue as what nemesis et al are up to.  Since the Bush and his influential neocons left power the shift in geo political interests is no longer in the mid east. They are all but abandoning Israel.  The US will sell them some planes and try to force Turkey to give in, but other than that Zbigniew Brzezinski and his protege, Barack Obama have bigger fish to fry, the far east, China and eventually Russia.  Zbig in his 80s doesn’t have much time to settle old scores.  So, look out.

Nemesis is trying to raise the ire of people like you against the Arabs and Islam with scare tactics, misinformation and hare-brained logic.

Of course, you are free to fall for it. 

I see you never gave up on the GroupThink.

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By Leefeller, August 19, 2010 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

After observing such pathetic responses by some posters in attempted response to Nemesis comments, I must interject my suspiciousness. 

I suspect Garth and Patrick Henery were not in the Marine Corps together doing the group thinking dance and I have several other suspicions about them. But,... because I am polite and will not mention any further here why those suspicions are suspicions. Though here is a tip, it has something to do with where the sun don’t shine!

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By PatrickHenry, August 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

By garth, August 18 at 11:11 am

“My doubt comes from experience with others who served in the Corps. They eventually shed the GroupThink and adjusted to the real world of give and take.’

I’m down with that statement.  I too served in the USMC for two four year enlistments.  It took some time to readjust and ‘shed’ the conventional wisdom party line and become more in tune with the chaos which is life (as is opposed to the finely tuned machine which is the Corps).

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By nemesis2010, August 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, August 18 at 4:08 am

”Does it matter to you what happens in Iraq, nemesis2010?”

Yes it does. But unlike those of the cosmic justice brigade I realize that there is anything that I, or anyone else, can do to change the fact that, like it or not, Bush War II was started.

Unlike the tea-baggers’ conjoined twins—the cosmic justice brigade—I realize that we have to ask the right questions in order to get the right answers and figure out how we can put a lid on this can of worms that would have been better left unopened.

Have you noticed that it doesn’t matter that I have been opposed to the war from the start or that despite being a fan of Hitchens, I was standing with men like Hedges and Laurence Vance against the warfare state and in opposition to Hitchens’? But like their tea-bagger brothers those of the cosmic justice brigade are deep inside, narrow-minded, hateful, despiteful, uncompromising, brain-washed, kool-aid drinking bigots who are incapable of understanding that one can disagree and agree with another on different points of interests.

My primary concern is: How will Iraq and Afghanistan policy further affect the nation? (I believe that the discussion about it having been started should be a national debate—once this is all over and military personnel have returned safely—in order to prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again and to bring those responsible to trial.) 

My secondary concern is the blood shed and horror that is going to take place should the U.S. withdraw. (I’m with you in that I doubt that we’ll ever withdraw. I differ in your conclusion of advisors. Advisors would be wiped out within weeks. I believe there is going to be a rather large force stationed in Iraq with a back up contingent close by for any needed support.)

You, unlike those of the cosmic justice brigade, see and aren’t afraid to admit the truth about the potential for escalation of sectarian violence and possible all out civil war between the 3 factions. The pipe dreams of the hubristic and arrogant neo-con cabal that dragged us into this mess serves as the perfect example of good intentions coming back to bite one in the ass.

And we must never let it be forgotten that U.S. Christians were the biggest pro-war group in the land. They were having wet dreams thinking about the apocalypse and their boy jeebus coming to rapture them out. The Bush administration was a Christian evangelical administration and of that there is no denying.

Free Iraq has been a windfall of indescribable magnitude for Iran. Iraq is now the first Shiite state in Arab territory. After 80 years of domination the Arab Sunni minority finds itself in a pickle. The Kurds have gained autonomy and their goal is to form a completely independent Kurdish state. Enter Turkey!

Because of the supposed desire to create a democratic Muslim state we now have strong Iranian influence on the second largest known oil reserves in the world. Whatever happens there will effect the entire world economy –not just that of the U.S.

The point I was making with the stat that this is the first freely elected government for that area was to demonstrate that there is simply no history of democratic inclinations there. To think that you can simply shout abracadabra and wooosh! Instant democracy! C’mon, that’s insane.

And like the mess in Israel this mess is made even more impossible because at the root of all this conflict—as in most conflicts around the world—we find that bane of mankind… RELIGION!

If the U.S. withdraws you can prepare yourself for a bloodbath. And forget all about women’s rights, it will worsen for them, of that there is no doubt.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 18, 2010 at 8:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Have you ever asked the question of yourself if Iraq would have been better off if the USA hadn’t been at a one sided war with Iraq since 1990?

Sadam Hussein was no good man, we know. So did the USA when it made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. But it was one of the most advanced Western countries, women weren’t persecuted as they are now and their education and medical system was rated very high. What is it now? How is it that the USA have turned things so bad that the days of a dictator are like heaven now? Answer me that?

Don’t forget the over 3 million killed since 1990, infrastructure was targeted (war crime) and the country is now in constant low to mid level civil/religious war amid squalor. But the foreign bases and facilites are clean, new and up and running.

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By garth, August 18, 2010 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

Neme says, “As for suspecting that I wasn’t in the Marine Corp… who cares what you suspect? With what you suspect and about two bucks I can buy an espresso.”

You might be right there.  The marines after all specialize in brreaking recruits and then reforming them into GroupThink, which seems to your specialty.  My doubt comes from experience with others who served in the Corps. They eventually shed the GroupThink and adjusted to the real world of give and take.

Your lack of insight into any arguments ‘Aluminuim foil hats’ for example is just one indicator that you are still suffeering from GroupThink.

AC in library, Wow.  Who paid for all our excess.  This is similar to an arguement made at an AEI conference on C-SPAN by a Business Professor from The University of Georgia.  His claim was that modern African Americans are better off than Thomas Jefferson was.  He didn’t take into account the 200 years that have passed.

So, you feel yourself put upon by those who seem to misunderstand your pense (ahkson grave over the final ‘e’)?

My question, however, refers to the 95% of readers who might feel a little cheapened. Truthdig is an award winner for political blogs, then guys like start showing up. 

Why did the Ultra-right send such a fool on such an errand?

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By elisalouisa, August 18, 2010 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

Favorite quotes are just that and do not necessarily reflect a lifestyle.

There is no coming to consciousness without pain.
Carl Jung

Shrinking away from death is something unhealthy and abnormal which robs the second half of life of its purpose.  Carl Jung

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By Shenonymous, August 18, 2010 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

You are right, nemesis2010, about the land of the Cradle of
Civilization, aka Mesopotamia.  It really had quite a checkered past.
Originally Sumer, it was replaced by the Akkadian Empire (the first
empire in history) through assimilation not really conquest, which
then collapsed no doubt due to drought that dried up its agri-
cultural-based economy.  It regenerated back into to the former
Sumer (or dynasty of Ur) and eventually divided into Babylonia in
the south and Assyria in the north, and so forth down to becoming
a province of the Persian Empire, and finally after several more
conquests, including 7th century Islamic imperialism, to the Ottoman
Turk territorial conquest.  The Turks lost the Iraq provinces at the end
of WWI when defeated by the British who with the French government,
and secretly sanctioned by Russia, formed the territory into a country
with a kingdom and a king, as it were, in 1920.

Cycling through the various terms it has been called at different times
an area, a region, a territory, and a province, the latter of the Turkish
Empire, Iraq was not “a country” until 1920 but the land carried the
name ‘Iraq’ from the time of Sumer arguably for a few possible reasons
one of which is the Middle Persian derivation of the Sumer word for
lowlands.

When installing the Hashimite monarchy, the British mindlessly (and
greedily) paid no attention to the politics of the various ethnic and
distinct religious groups within the borders that defined Iraq, which is
the genesis of the messy affair that is today’s Iraq.  Iraq became a
republic in 1958 from a military revolution whereupon Qassim formed
political relations with the Soviet Union, but then another coup and a
few more presidents later laid Iraq in the loving arms of the ruthless
Saddam Hussein.  And from there we all know what happened.

After having that recent “extraordinary” election you mentioned, they
are still to this day unable to form a government with the three major
ethnic groups bickering and there does not look like an accord is going
to happen very soon.  And as I’ve also often said, we humans do not
learn from history.

As another piece of trivia, it is thought that the religious doctrine of
prohibition against the raising and consumption of pigs that came
about in the ancient Akkadian “Dark Age” was due to the onset of that
climactic collapse and a loss of livestock.  This prohibition is practiced
both by Jews and Muslims today, leaving the bacon to the Christians,
and other non-Semitic people. 

Does it matter to me what might happen to Iraq if and when the US
withdraws from Iraq?  Well that ‘mattering’ is a function of a number of
perspectives.  If I were to consider the fate of people in the world, then
yes it would matter, empathetically within that scope, if the Iraqis
finally had a country that was responsive morally to its common people,
all of its common people.  I do have concern about the fate of the
women.  The treatment of women under Islam is an abomination in my
estimation. But it is not unique to Iraq, and is generalized over the
entire Islamic world. Some, a few, women have liberated themselves.

At the level of my personal life, it probably would not matter what is
the situation after withdrawal.  I would hope they had a decent country
and would feel bad for them if there was continued violence (which it
looks like it very well could be).  But what happens is completely beyond
my control.  It didn’t have any affect on my life before the Bush Wars so
I can’t imagine it would very much after there is no further military
action by the US. 

I don’t see that the US would simply evacuate lock, stock, and barrel
but would remain as “advisors” for a long time no doubt to keep a self-
endowed eye on what goes on.

Don’t you think so?  Does it matter to you what happens in Iraq,
nemesis2010?

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By Leefeller, August 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

When I speculate about anything at all, it must be done with a pious self righteous absoluteness,  which means I may never be wrong! (In my mind)!

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By elisalouisa, August 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Nemesis:Living in the U.S. you have so much more access—and
much of it free of costs to you—to all that one needs to better oneself. If nothing else you can go to one of the more than abundant bookstores, sit in air-conditioned comfort, and read books for no more than the price of a coffee or a soda.

Your comprehension of situations and conclusions especially do not have the scent of book learning; to me at least. Rather one might even say that your writings may be a reflection of a life career which might also include knowledge acquired through self-education.

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By nemesis2010, August 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, August 17 at 8:36 pm

”Iraq was not a country in the time of Babylon, it was created in
1920 by the British from the Ottoman Empire after WWI.”

That’s a given She… it’s the land mass that is now occupied by those people. The Iraq/Iran border has been the accepted border between what were the Ottoman and Persian empires since the Treaty of Qasr-i-Shirin (1639). This is the first time anyone living in that land mass that makes up Iraq today has had a freely elected government. Even the Kurds now enjoy some amount of autonomy.

The creation of Iraq—and especially including the Kurds in it—was a horrible idea. But it serves to demonstrate that the lesson of history is that we do not heed the lessons of history. Look what dividing up Africa has wrought upon the world and especially the Africans.

By Shenonymous, August 17 at 8:36 pm

” We have to remember that Iraq is the second largest producers of
oil in the Middle East.  I read recently a bit of logic that sticks in my
mind.  It goes something like thie:  If oil was not the raison d’etre
for American intervention in Iraq, a preemptive war,they why didn’t
the US do something in the Sudan whre two million Christians have
been killed in the last 10 years?”

Only a fool would think that oil didn’t have a hand in that invasion and occupation. The problem is that the invasion—whether one likes it or not—is a done deal and there is no way to turn back the clock, not even the FSM can do that. And like it or not the vast majority of the American public was behind Bush War II. I also believe that we are never given all the reasons for the government action. There is no doubt that there are motivations of which we’ll never know that played into that decision. All government’s have a private face and a public face.

Another unavoidable fact is this: The world’s economy is greased with oil. Green energy is a joke. The technology simply isn’t there. The world—not just the U.S.—needs crude to provide the energy that we need to produce work. There’s no other way around that. Without carbon based fuel to supply our power needs we would soon see starvation on a scale unimaginable and it would begin very quickly.

It took half a century of occupation to rebuild and stabilize Germany and Japan.

Let’s consider one or two of the possible scenarios, shall we? Contrary to Hussein’s rule, Iraq is now under the control of its Shiite, pro-Iranian majority. The minority factions are the Arab Sunnis and the third party to this Muslim circle jerk are the Kurds –who have a history of backing the U.S. This is very important to keep in mind because of the revenge factor. All three of these groups hate each other. This is a Muslim version of Medieval Catholicism vs. Protestantism with a much deadlier technology.

Let’s assume that the U.S. declares victory and withdraws from Iraq in 30 days. What do you suppose is going to happen or does it even matter to you?

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By elisalouisa, August 17, 2010 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

        Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
          Therefore, we are saved by Hope
        Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense
        in any immediate context of history;
          Therefore, we are saved by Faith
        Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
          Therefore, we are saved by Love
        No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of
        our friend or foe as from our own:
      Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love
                which is forgiveness

Reinhold Niebuhr

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By Shenonymous, August 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Iraq was not a country in the time of Babylon, it was created in
1920 by the British from the Ottoman Empire after WWI.

We have to remember that Iraq is the second largest producers of
oil in the Middle East.  I read recently a bit of logic that sticks in my
mind.  It goes something like thie:  If oil was not the raison d’etre
for American intervention in Iraq, a preemptive war,they why didn’t
the US do something in the Sudan whre two million Christians have
been killed in the last 10 years?  Now you all know I am atheist and
have little appreciation for religionists.  But I do have a moral code
which includes that killing other humans under almost all circumstances
is monstrous and grossly wicked and blemished with injustice. 
Genocide of Christians ought to be a crime against humanity just as
genocide of any religious group has been.  Or what about Zimbabwe,
what about Cuba?  Or Adi Amin and what about the Tutsis and the
murdering Hutus?  And what about Ruwanda?  Why are not more
“liberal” Americans screaming their heads of about the real atrocities
going on in the world? 

Shouldn’t we “responsible and moral” Americans question the motives
of our country and what its policy is towards genocide and mass
murder?  It seems only to become a problem when the US has a “vested
interest” in some country. 

Saddam Hussein was umbilically connected to the United States from
the late 50s onward and was an ally up to the first Bush the Elder’s Gulf
War. 

If Iraq had any WMD’s it got them from the United States around 1963.
Iraq and Hussein was an American ally against Iran and was sent ‘dual
use’ licensed materials which assisted in the development of Iraqi
chemical, biological and missile-system programs.” This included
anthrax, VX nerve gas, West Nile fever germs, botulism, salmonella, and
E coli.  (See the 1992 U.S. Senate committee report on U.S. Chemical
and Biological Warfare-Related Dual-Use Exports to Iraq)

As we now know, Iraq was not responsible for 9/11.  We were deceived
and that is something we ought not ever to forgive the Republicans for. 
It is the reason the US has been in Afghanistan now for 10 years and
there is no end in sight.

So what exactly does Iran need nuclear weapons for? 


The petty criticisms about Hitchens are so lame.  He is as sharp a
thinker as we have had in our generation.  Yeah, I was a fan of the
superrealist Carlin too! You are as astute nemesis2010, but you just are
not as funny as George!  It is not too late even at 66.

And by the way, this article is about mortality.  Life after death.  Isn’t it
the very game we all play all the time, never believing it to be as close
as it is to its end?

What is the meaning of life or death in an irrational world?  For who
would dare to say it was rational?  The answer simply… is… the
realization that death comes to all living things and is something that
can never be understood or explained, but it is something that simply
is.  The end result only remains as a metaphorical treatise on the way in
which we perceive death and how we condition ourselves to believe in
its existence.

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By elisalouisa, August 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

There is more to this truedigger3 than listening to Limbaugh or Fox news. Could be the indoctrination that was part of his life work.
You retired Nem but that inner part of you just refused to quit.

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By PatrickHenry, August 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Nemisis2001

“When you are going to make a case and start with a pronoun—especially the pronoun “they” —all of my warning flags pop up.”.

I see it brings out the pronoun police in you, in a tin foil hat sort of way.  Try prozac. 

‘They’

http://www.whodidit.org/cocon.html

I’ve neither the time nor the patience to continue with this ridiculous conspiracy witch hunt and this isn’t the appropriate article on which to do it anyway. As for your links: I’ve seen them all!”

You’ve been real busy then. I see you follow the lead of Hitchens, talking in circles about facts and science while offering little.  Hitchens pomposness, arrogance and neocon apologetic traits will not die with him but will live on in select individuals such as yourself.

http://www.slate.com/id/2102723/

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By truedigger3, August 17, 2010 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

nemesis2010,

I give up. You watch too much fox news and listen too much to Rush Limbaugh. You are a war monger and I tend to agree with garth that you are, probabdly, a hired hack, and I add, with good sophistry and writing skills.
I thought that most people when they reach their sixties, they mellow up, and by the way, I am older than you!!
I will not waste any more time with you. Bye!.

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By elisalouisa, August 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

III. What are the New Atheists really about?
Quoting from Chris Hedges column On Secular Fundamentalism
Some proposition are so dangerous that it may even be eithical to kill people for believing them, Sam Harris writes. this may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of
every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United
States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas.
Chris Hedges goes on to say These atheists and Christian radicals have built squalid little belief systems that are in the service of themselves and their own power. They urge us forward into a nonreality-based world, one where force
and violence, where self-exaltation and blind nationalism, are an unquestioned good. They seek to make us afraid of what we do not know or understand. They use this fear to justify cruelty and war. 

Hedges quotes: Hedges at time places the Fundamentals alongside the New Atheists. Some find the New Atheists much more aggressive in their beliefs.The secular utopians from Richard Dawkins to Sam Harris to Daniel Dennett to Christopher Hitchens have also forgotten they are human. Both they and religious fundamentalists peddle absolutes. Those who do not see as they see, speak as they speak and act as they act are worthy only of conversion or eradication. 

http://www.truthdig.com/report/page3/20070523_chris_hedges_i_dont_believe_in_atheists

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By elisalouisa, August 17, 2010 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

II. Excepts from: Chris Hedges: I Don’t Believe in Atheists
I also know from my time in the Muslim world that the vast majority of the some 1 billion Muslims on this planet—most of whom are not Arab—are moderate, detest the violence done in the name of their religion and look at the Pat Robertsons and Franklin Grahams, who demonize Muslims in the name
of Christianity, with the same horror with which we look at Osama bin Laden or Hamas.  The Palestinian resistance movement took on a radical Islam coloring in the 1990s only when conditions in Gaza and the West Bank deteriorated and
thrust people into profound hopelessness, despair and poverty—conditions similar to those that empowered the Christian right in our own country.  Before that the movement was decidedly secular.  I know that Muslim societies are shaped far more by national characteristics—an Iraqi has a culture and outlook
on life that are quite different from an Indonesian’s—just as a French citizen, although a Catholic, is influenced far more by the traits of his culture. Islam has within it tiny, marginal groups that worship death, but nearly all suicide bombers come from one language group within the Muslim world, Arabic, which represents only 20 percent of Muslims.  I have seen the bodies—
including the bodies of children—left in the wake of a suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem.  But I have also seen the frail, thin bodies of boys shot to death for sport by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip.  Tell me the moral difference.  I fail to see one, especially as a father.Finally, let us not forget that the worst genocides and slaughters of the last century were perpetratednot by Muslims but Christians.  To someone who
lived in Sarajevo during the Serbian siege of the city, Sam’s demonization of the Muslim world seems odd.  It was the Muslim-led government in Bosnia that practiced tolerance.  There were some 10,000 Serbs who remained in the city and fought alongside the Bosnia Muslims during the war.  The city’s Jewish community, dating back to 1492, was also loyal to the government.  And the worst atrocities of the war were blessed not by imams but Catholic and Serbian Orthodox priests.  Sam’s argument that atheists have a higher moral code is as
specious as his attacks on Islam.  Does he forget Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot?  These three alone filled the earth with more corpses in the last century than all of the world’s clerics combined. 
The danger is not Islam or Christianity or any other religion.  It is the human heart—the capacity we all have for evil.  All human institutions with a lust for power give their utopian visions divine sanction, whether this comes through the worship of God, destiny, historical inevitability, the master race, a worker’s
paradise, fraternite-egalite-liberte or the second coming of Jesus Christ.

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By elisalouisa, August 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

I. Excepts from Chris Hedges: I Don’t Believe in Atheists
“We are at war with Islam,” (Sam) Harris writes.  “It may not serve our immediate foreign policy objectives for our political leaders to openly acknowledge this fact, but it is unambiguously so.  It is not merely that we are at war with an otherwise peaceful religion that has been ‘hijacked’ by
extremists.  We are at war with precisely the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran, and further elaborated in the literature of the hadith, which recounts the sayings and teachings of the Prophet”
  (P. 110).He assures us that “the Koran mandates such hatred” (P. 31 ), that
“the problem is with Islam itself”
(P. 28).  He writes that “Islam, more than any other religion human beings have devised, has all the makings of a thoroughgoing cult of death” (P. 123).Now after studying 600 hours of Arabic, spending seven years of my life in the Middle East, most of that time as the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, I do not claim to be a scholar on Islam.  But I do know the Koran is emphatic about the rights of other religions to practice their own beliefs and unequivocally condemns attacks on civilians as a violation of Islam.  The Koran states that suicide, of any type, is an abomination.  More important, the tactic of suicide bombing was pioneered as a weapon of choice by the Tamils, who are chiefly Hindu, in Sri Lanka long before it was adopted by Hezbollah, al-
Qaida or Hamas.  It is what you do when you do not have artillery or planes or and you want to create maximum terror.
I also know from my time in the Muslim world that the vast majority of the some 1 billion Muslims on this planet—most of whom are not Arab—are moderate, detest the violence done in the name of their religion and look at the Pat Robertsons and Franklin Grahams, who demonize Muslims in the name
of Christianity, with the same horror with which we look at Osama bin Laden or Hamas.  The Palestinian resistance movement took on a radical Islam coloring in the 1990s only when conditions in Gaza and the West Bank deteriorated and
thrust people into profound hopelessness, despair and poverty—conditions similar to those that empowered the Christian right in our own country.  Before that the movement was decidedly secular.  I know that Muslim societies are shaped far more by national characteristics—an Iraqi has a culture and outlook
on life that are quite different from an Indonesian’s—just as a French citizen, although a Catholic, is influenced far more by the traits of his culture. Islam has within it tiny, marginal groups that worship death, but nearly all suicide bombers come from one language group within the Muslim world, Arabic, which represents only 20 percent of Muslims.  I have seen the bodies—
including the bodies of children—left in the wake of a suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem.  But I have also seen the frail, thin bodies of boys shot to death for sport by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip.  Tell me the moral difference.  I fail to see one, especially as a father.

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