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Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays

Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays

By Karen Malpede (Editor); Michael Messina (Editor); Bob Shuman (Editor); Chris Hedges (Foreword)

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Rules of War Weren’t Made for Only One People

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Posted on Feb 14, 2009
Sachsenhausen
AP photo / Sven Kaestner

Visitors to Oranienburg, Germany, pass the gate of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp last month. The words on the gate translate loosely as “Labor liberates.” 

By Robert Fisk

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in The Independent.

The third and very final part of the “normality” of war. I have just finished reading Lyn Smith’s Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust. I admit to a personal interest. Lyn is a friend of mine for whom I have been recording my memories of Middle East wars for the Imperial War Museum. Nothing I have ever seen can equal this, however, and I can give only one example from the terrifying, outrageously brave and moving book this is.

It is the testimony of Leon Greenman, a British Jewish inmate of Auschwitz-Birkenau who arrived at the extermination camp with his wife and child. It speaks for itself. All other passages pale beside it:

“We were bullied out of the train and stood about waiting. It must have been about half past two in the morning. It was dark, a blue light was shining on the platform. We saw a few SS men walking up and down. They separated the men from the women. So I stood right in front of the men and I could see my wife there with the child in her arms. She threw me a kiss and she showed the baby ... Then one of the prisoners in a striped uniform commanded us to follow him. Well, we turned to the left and walked a little way for two or three minutes. A truck arrived, stopped near us and on the truck were all the women, children, babies and in the centre my wife and child standing up. They stood up to the light as if it was meant to be like that – so that I could recognise them. A picture I’ll never forget. All these were supposed to have gone to the bathroom to have a bath, to eat and to live. Instead they had to undress and go into the gas chambers, and two hours later those people were ashes, including my wife and child.”

I recalled this searing passage this week when I received a letter from a reader, taking me to task for my “constant downplaying of the suffering of the Palestinians on the grounds that their deaths and suffering are minimal when compared with that of the Second World War”. Now, I should say at once that this is a bit unfair. I was especially taking exception to a Palestinian blog now going the rounds which shows a queue of Palestinian women at one of Israel’s outrageous roadblocks and a (slightly) cropped picture of the Auschwitz selection ramp, the same platform upon which Leon Greenman was separated from his young wife and child more than 60 years ago. The picture of the Palestinian women is based on a lie; they are not queuing to be exterminated. Racist, inhumane and sometimes deadly – Palestinian women have died at these infernal checkpoints – but they are not queuing to be murdered.

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Yet our reader does have a point. The Second World War, she says, “does put it in a category apart ... but surely if one is caught up in any war and sees one’s loved ones killed or maimed, one’s home destroyed ... then that must be the greatest cataclysm in one’s life. The fact that a hundred others, a thousand, a hundred thousand, a million are suffering likewise is immaterial to the individual’s suffering. The Second World War lasted six years. The Palestinian suffering has lasted over sixty…”

And yes, I’ll go along with this. If it’s an individual being deliberately killed, then this is no less terrible than any other individual, albeit that this second person may be one of six million others. The point, of course, is the centrality of the Holocaust and – Israel’s constant refrain – its exclusivity. Actually, the Armenian Holocaust – as I’ve said on umpteen occasions – is also central to all genocide studies. The same system of death marches, of camps, of primitive asphyxiation, even a few young German officers in Turkey watching the genocide in 1915 and then using the same methods on Jews in the occupied Soviet Union. Numbers matter.

But our reader has another point. “After all,” she says, “in the Second World War, after the entry of the US and USSR on our side, people could feel pretty positive about the outcome. But where is such hope for the Palestinians? And now to cap the horror the BBC is refusing to even show an appeal to help Gaza…” I’m not at all sure that W Churchill Esq would have entirely placed such confidence in the outcome of the Second World War – he was initially worried that the Americans would use up their firepower on the Japanese rather than against Hitler’s Germany.

I think, however, there is yet one more point. The rules of war – the Geneva Conventions and all the other post-Second World War laws – were meant to prevent another Holocaust. They were specifically designed to ensure that no one should ever again face the destruction of Mrs Greenman and her child. They were surely not made only for one race of people. And it is these rules which Israel so disgracefully flouted in Gaza. It’s a bit like the refrain from Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara and a whole host of other apparatchiks when the torture at Abu Ghraib was revealed. Well, yes, they told us, it was bad – but not as bad as Saddam Hussein’s regime.

And of course, this argument leads to perdition. True, we were bad – but not as bad as the Baath party. Or the Khmer Rouge. Or Hitler’s Germany and the SS. Or the Ottoman Turks – though I noticed movingly that one of Lyn’s Jewish Holocaust survivors mentions the Armenians. No, the numbers game works both ways. A thousand Palestinians die in Gaza. But what if the figure were 10,000? Or 100,000? No, no, of course that wouldn’t happen. But the rules of war are made for all to obey. Yes, I know that the Jews of Europe had no Hamas to provide the Nazis with an excuse for their deaths. But a Palestinian woman and her child are as worthy of life as a Jewish woman and her child on the back of a lorry in Auschwitz.


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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, April 28, 2009 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

shenonymous said: Henceforth, I will make every effort to keep my theatrics to a minimum.

theatrics(is there a cooler name for it?) is a perfectly legitimate thought provoker and debate tactic. My response to the theatrics was also somewhat theatric. and thought provoking.  we make our points. parry/thrust etc. All in earnest. No foul was taken or given, Merrie. My, we do get after it like cats and dogs!

shenonymous said: Let’s presume you have a case. Let’s not argue about Napolitano at the moment, and suspend the errantness you think she is guilty of.  What exactly would you do about violent extremism that arise in American society and know there are groups fomenting violence?  It would be like the Muslims ignoring what the terrorist Islamists are doing.  They do damage to their own ethnic population.  How as a government would you handle the seriousness of possible violent action?

As always you get to the bottom line.

I have thought of an answer, because certainly there should be a Report on Rightwing Extremism. It is beyond me to write it. i will try my hand at an outline:

  Threat level in descending order:

First, rightwing groups or individuals which are planning violence or have done so in the past. Discuss their motivations and methods, including race or whatever.

Second, rightwing groups or individuals which call for violence or have done so in the past. Again, motives etc. are to be reported in the Assessment.

Third, rightwing groups or individuals which have an indirect link to recent terrorist attacks or planned attacks by individual lone wolf members.

Fourth, rightwing groups which disagree with the President’s foriegn or domestic policy.


The first and second levels deserve intense scrutiny.

The third level does not require intense scrutiny, but only awareness and willingness to follow leads that point there. I would also figure that Rightwing organizations, on the basis of a close link, wopuld provide full cooperation with Law Enforcement to clear themselves.

The fourth level should not be in the report at all!

So if Law Enforcement came to my organization, with no threat level and purely on the basis of the DHS report, I would not cooperate with them at all. It is a shame that the NAACP had to suffer, but they showed us how to behave 40 years ago. They went to jail for it. Thats what I would do.

But the Supreme Court said that the State was wrong to ask for the information from the NAACP. There was no compelling reason to ask for the members and donors lists.

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By Shenonymous, April 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Youse are soooo funny ITW, jes as funnie as da CatMan.  Worm-hole?  WORM-HOLE!  Yup ahs unnerstan.

Wheres maight thet wermhole be in Poughkeepsie? ahs might be closer than you think.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 28, 2009 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

No one in Poughkeepsie or Milan would have any access to Leefeller’s Catland unless they accessed the TD Forum.
*********************

Have you ever BEEN to Poughkeepsie or Milan? I’ve been to Poughkeepsie—there just may be a wormhole to Leefeller’s cats….

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By Shenonymous, April 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

Agreed that old definitions are anachronistic given the changes in history.
I am smack dab on exactly on top of Nelson Mandela!  Yeow Rinny!  Given time to think about it, I probably would choose to be.  I noticed all the authoritarian right are in the upper right quadrant!  Interesting.  I know I prefer where I tested out to.  Nearer to the Dalai Lama and as far away from GWB as I can be!  That was very interesting Night-Gaunt, thank you.  I will pass it along to all my friends and family.  They might as well have the good or bad news.  Now I have to find out more about Mandela as we are soul mates.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

By Trithoverlies, April 28 at 6:12 pm #

Shenonymous,
Timoty McViegh
is only on the right if you use the liberal media scales.”

Besides your terribly skewed view of the world by our corporate media boondoggle the Right/Left dichotomy is old hat (Revolutionary France congress) but incomplete and doesn’t begin to cover the scale represented. Go to http://www.politicalcompass.com/ and find out where you are on the four area grid. Using up-Authoritarian, down-Libertarian, Left-Liberal and Right-Conservative

I was in the lower left quadrant;
Economic minus 9.62
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian was minus 7.18
I was more Anarchistic than the Dali Lama and Nelson Mandela but socialist in some ways too. Try it out and get back to us on where you are on that more definite ranking of positions. How bout the others here on this forum? Give it a try there are no wrong answers.

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By Shenonymous, April 28, 2009 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2   Universal Morality? 
Turning the other cheek is an avoidance of a problem.  It just says submission is the best course to avoid possible more damage.  It is a kind of damage control.  Parables that offer turning the other cheek as a sign of moral strength may extol the virtue of that action but it does not get at the heart of why the strike was made in the first place.  It is an acceptance of another’s power and a show that violence will not shake one’s resolve (whatever that might be, and it could be that it is not virtuous either).  What then is courage?  Another “virtue” that must be defined within the scope of an event where it might be summoned. 

I am in the thick of developing an idea I have been working on for a very long time that I call Closed-Systems of Beliefs, and the incumbent actions based on those beliefs.  The notion of a closed-system is not exactly a new idea but it has not been framed this way, as far as I can find.  I have now been studying and thinking about morality for years and the concept of Universal Morality.  As I have proposed Universal Morality is a paradigm.  Plato would call it an Ideal, Carl Jung, the psychologist, might call it a Spiritual Pathway, and John Dewey might call it a Useful Guideline.  I would call it the best way people can interact with each other within a specified boundary in the most respectful way and becomes universal, common to all,  which would apply to all societies.  So I have set about trying to give name to qualities that would fall under that paradigmatic umbrella.  Having read Lakoff’s theory of framing and finding much agreement that how a thing is framed, that is, in what form is an idea put, goes the distance of how it is understood and in what ways reaction to it arises.  My very recent comments to OzarkMichael and how I framed his position as “murderous” is such an example of creating a framework with which to act or act against.  He is smart enough to catch it.  Many are not.

It is not easy to find one or more distinctive attributes of ideas that hold a place of superiority and excellence that would fit in all groups’ set of morals.  After racking my brain from raking the information gathered and given deep thought, the one characteristic that I think would be at the apex of a Universal Morality is what is called integrity of the self.  It is somewhat akin to the Socratic imperative, Know Thyself.  It was surprising to me that it came around to that.  But it seems a truism and I cannot find any argument against it.  I think, however, integrity implies more than self-knowledge, as it means to me acting in accordance with what self-knowledge reveals, and in that case, it is also related to wisdom.  But wisdom, also in the paradigmatic sense, applies posterior to self-knowledge and the wisdom of knowing the best way to conduct one’s own life.  Wisdom in the extensive sense would be knowing the best way to deal with the world that necessarily includes oneself and other people but also the earth and its species and a candid, unemotional view of beliefs that seems to control one’s life.  Learning to be wise is the way to achieve arete. It is the epitome of that Greek word, arete, meaning excellence of character and the action of living as in that character.  And while that might be a superlatively worthwhile way to exist, taking care to craft oneself comes first because the petitioner is closest at hand, oneself. If anyone disagrees or would put some other coloration on these thoughts, I would welcome them with an open-mind and open-arms.

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By Shenonymous, April 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2 Universal Morality?
Given what I’ve said so far, I will elaborate further on my idea of Close-Systems of Beliefs, and how I see the effects of this description of reality.

What is a closed-system?  Usually the term closed-system refers to computer systems that provide specific instructions that operates within the confines of an electronic unit computer environment.  Operators within those borders (confines) are free to use the program as far as it can be used, but rules and regulations applies to that sphere of activity.  It does not affect any other realm of existence except as operators are permitted through the gates of that system.  Wikipedia (that encyclopedia available to anyone who has access to the Internet), gives a definition of closed system as “a state of being isolated from its surrounding environment…” In other words, perfect closure is an assumption.  Other examples of closed systems may be seen in physics, chemistry, and the most paradigmatic is mathematics.  However, a closer example to ordinary life is Leefeller and his universe of cats that now has a mannequin with female attributes, and they all seem to exist only within the confines of this forum (and his home which is included to be within this forum).  His is a closed system and all comments and beliefs about what it is about is limited to this defined universe. No one in Poughkeepsie or Milan would have any access to Leefeller’s Catland unless they accessed the TD Forum.  And it would be an exotic land even to some of those who are residents of this forum.

How do I use this notion to explain systems of beliefs.  A set of beliefs that one might hold can be framed as a network of rules, views, interacting ideas, in other words, a system.  This system relies on some basis that can be called proof.  Whatever that word ‘proof’ possibly could mean is dependent on the believer and what they accept within the bounds of that system, which is an finite range.  But proofs do exists in that defined context.  Absolute proof does not exist in my definition.  Mainly because there is no way to provide absolute proof of anything, your or my beliefs.  If you don’t “believe” me, just try proving something, anything.  That would include proving or disproving the existence of a god, which is always the ultimate test for believers and non-believers. Which is why proponents of either side has such problem holding fast to their relative positions.

Therefore, proofs can exist in closed-systems, but not in a reality of all closed systems.  I don’t believe that is exactly a relativist view, but is a realist’s view.  I believe a universal morality exists within closed-systems and is defined explicitly as practiced and implicitly from intuitions of integrity and what it means to live by that integrity within that limited universe.  It is the implicit part that ultimately makes it universal for that system.  There is not Universal Morality outside the system because there is no way to compare closed-systems.

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By Trithoverlies, April 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,
Timoty McViegh was only on the right if you use the liberal media scales Infact He was not on the right but the far left he was an anarchist.  The lie of HIm being on the right is just that a lie. The Anarchist stand on the far left of socialism which stands just right of National Socialism (NAZIISM) which stands just a little right of Communism. What is on the right of all of these is Divine Right Monarchy just a little left of this is Monarchy with the People can over rule the King or Queen, followed by democratic controled Monarchy with the Royalty as figure heads, then comes Democracy which is the central point.  So the right wing as you say are D.R.M’s. not Anarchist.
        Trithoverlies/Truthoverlies.
            John R. Bloxson Jr.

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By Shenonymous, April 28, 2009 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

Yes, I admit to overdramatizing your criticism, OzarkMichael.  It was a low blow and I apologize.  I see I am capable of that which I criticize.  I have do not feel you were calling for violence.  And I cannot say I ever felt you were before.  I was using figures of speech of an extreme nature to indicate the how radical I felt was your censure.  The topic is about right-wing extremism, and they represent to me the most violent factor existing in American society.  They have been responsible for deaths and destruction.  I do not feel that document investigating that group was either wrong in intention nor calls for any wrongful action.  To take a defensive posture is tantamount to defending those groups actions in my mind.  I was not making an accusation that anyone in particular would do so. 

Let’s presume you have a case. Let’s not argue about Napolitano at the moment, and suspend the errantness you think she is guilty of.  What exactly would you do about violent extremism that arise in American society and know there are groups fomenting violence?  It would be like the Muslims ignoring what the terrorist Islamists are doing.  They do damage to their own ethnic population.  How as a government would you handle the seriousness of possible violent action?  But do answer my questions for they are questions I would bet of millions of Americans, especially those in Oklahoma and victims of Kaczynski-like mindedness would also have.  McVeigh was part of a group.  Kaczynski was part of a group mind set.

I do not feel the head of Homeland Security ought to resign.  You say she deserves to lose her job, and that is professional execution, which was the metaphor I used to highlight what you are calling for.  I feel she made a sufficient apology for the form in which the document was released.  I will not go into further virtues I find describes Napolitano except to say I think we are lucky to have such a person.  Therein lies your and my difference. 

Henceforth, I will make every effort to keep my theatrics to a minimum.  I can’t excise them completely, for then no one would recognize me!  I am not that submissive.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 28, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

Here’s a city-boy with a trick for you feller: When you grab that skunk don’t let his back feet grab on to anything and he can’t spray. He needs traction.

I’m surprised you don’t steal the pot and smoke it yourself…don’t need no still and they can’t go to the sheriff, can they?

You gotta have possums out there.  They may not get hit on the dirt roads but they’re still as dumb as Limbaugh’s ditto-heads.

I knew a man who knew a man who tried to eat a buzzard.  It smelled so awful he couldn’t get it near his nose. But he did eat a biscuit dipped in the gravy from it.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, April 28, 2009 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous: She was only confirmed about a month ago!  Your candidate for throat cutting.

As a debate tactic it was effective to use that phrase. Always a good trick to make your opponent look like an extremist. But it is doubly effective now, for in the current climate it is absolutely necessary for me to waste time defending myself.

The violent words and thoughts have nothing to do with me even though they are reputed by Shenonymous to be mine. I do not and never called for any violence.

i have said she deserves to lose her job. Thats all. And every day that she leaves the report floating around out there without retracting it increases her responsibility for it. Three weeks out now. So there should be Congressional hearings even if she retracts it today. She should resign.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 28, 2009 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

We have dirt roads, if we had asphalt it would be different, so no possum road kill for us, the dirt screws them up. 

My neighbor on one side is from the city, who raises pot. These city slickers don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground about living in the country. They come from big place like New Jersey. When the pot gets ripe, it really stinks. Reminds me of a skunk. So when they get close to harvest time at the real stinky stage, Clyde and I trap some skunks down in the hollow and try to throw them over the fence in the pot garden. First time, we tried grabbing the skunks by the tails to toss them over the fence, I don’t recommend that. Another thing we learned is cover the trap with a sack or something, when planning to move it, so the Skunks don’t get to uppity.

Lucky I have ladders, so one of us climbs up holding the trap just right with the sack on top and open the door for the skunks to jump out into the pot garden.

Usually the skunk is really pissed by then, so if I am lucky the skunk makes it to the ground before he fires.  It takes the pot heads awhile to figure out their product smells a little stronger then usual. One time we let four skunks loose in the garden, it was funny listing to the screaming, once the pot heads caught on.

Don’t know about you, but a person gets used the the smell just like the skunk, so now we can grab them by the tails and toss them over the fence without using the ladders.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 27, 2009 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

How do you know I have an old school bus?
********************************************

Ah….a high class red-neck hillbilly like you would be run out of tawn on a rail if, being at the top of the hillbilly food chain, you did NOT have a junked school bus on your property.  You gotta have a space big enough for the white-lightning that won’t burn down the tin shack when it blows up.

Besides, if you get hungry and there’s no dead possums in the road, you can always roast one of the 40+ cats “Tastes just like chicken”....

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By Leefeller, April 27, 2009 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

You know you may be right, they could be some other kind of corks instead of wine?  I collect them from the tipsy Demister behind a place called Hooters, next to the Republican voting registrar office,  they must have named the restaurant after my home town.  Once I found a nice dress for Mrs Lucky in the Dumpster though it was kind of short? I always seem to find a couple of Republican hats there.

Long time ago, I had a wine bottle with a cork stuck in it. someone gave it to me because they couldn’t open it.  Opening a wine bottle with a cork is really hard?  Thought of using my drill, since I had just come down from the roof, only it was still sitting up there. I could have pulled on the cord, but last time it came down and hit me on the head.  Making a hole in the cork would have runt it anyway. 

So Clyde said I should use the chainsaw and he would hold the bottle for me…. He said he saw it on “Jack Ass” once?  I don’t watch TV, so I did not know what he was talking about. Well it didn’t work out so well, I wouldn’t recommend it.  Should have used my 30/30 or even the shotgun, then I wouldn’t have made such a big mess in the kitchen, Since I don’t shoot inside anymore, plus it scares the cats and Jedi acts strange when I used to do it. Other problems I won’t go into here..

So now Clyde says he won’t hold boards or bottles for me ever again?  Clyde quit holding targets for me me a long time ago, because of my vision problems and since the accident.  The Doctor says I have Cadalacks, whatever that is. Must have something to do with looking at cars?

By the way, tried using the corks for plugging holes in the radiator of my truck, but it only works until the engine heats up.  Always have to carry lots of water with me, but the other day I ran out of water, So I had to use some of Mrs Lucky’s Budwiser supply,  don’t recommend that either, aside from the expense you can smell beer from a great distance, especially after it gets hot.  When the cop showed up, he tried to get me for drunk driving and empty containers.  Glad I had Mrs Lucky with me, there she was standing in back of the truck, in her new outfit I just found behind Hooters.  I think the trooper was fluting with Mrs Lucky, he acted like he knew her?  I didn’t tell him she was not a real person, but after I found out he had Cadalaks like me ,  we hit it off and Mrs Lucky gave him a sixpack for the road, so he let us both off with a warning

Worst thing that night, was I burned up my dump trucks engine, now it is sitting on the front lawn.

How do you know I have an old school bus?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Need to get one of those new battery operated drills, I don’t really like it, with the sparks flying when my roller skates get caught in the eclectic cord.
**************************************

Now that you mention, it does sound eclectic.

I’m just curious about the corks—they come out of the better wine, cognac and rum bottles—in your part of the world a wine cork is a screw cap and a wine bottle is box with a liner.

Did see another fellow carpenter fall off a roof with a circular saw.  Flung the saw into a pile of sawdust, twisted like a cat and landed on his feet, grabbed the saw and climbed back up again. Like nuthin’ had ever happened.

Now do those new plastic corks work as well? They don’t dry out so easily as the old ones.

If you want to go high-tech, get those new roller skates with the PLASTIC wheels—not so many “eclectic” shocks that way.

But you STILL haven’t told us how many junked cars, buses and trucks you have.  Got any Indian or Vincent motorcycles in that lot?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, April 27, 2009 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

ITW,

I use roller skates and a rope, just have to make sure the rope is tied onto something solid, one time I didn’t do that. Lucky the roof is almost flat, but it does get slippery as a Republicans tears when wet. Been using an electric drill to make the holes bigger then fill them in with wine corks, works really well, though it really hard climbing on a ladder with roller skates on, especially when holding an electric drill, an umbrella and a bucket full of wine corks at the same time. When in the wind, it really sucks.

Need to get one of those new battery operated drills, I don’t really like it, with the sparks flying when my roller skates get caught in the eclectic cord. Repairing the roof when rains takes aquiring getting used to being shocked. Being shoked was stimulating at first, but not anymore. When I used to have hair, I sort of liked the permit wave look, but now that I am bald, it does not seem important. I never really seem to get used the electric shocks, but it kind of fun, becuase my neighbors get mad from my involuntary cursing every time I do get shocked,  Need a battery operated drill, but my neighbors all beat me to garage sales.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, April 27, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Are you saying ITW, fixing the CatMan’s roof is Pissing In The WInd (PITW)?  Love it!  No exit from an insane world, as Sartre would say?  Or Steven Pinker would say everything you ever learned is wrong!

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By Inherit The Wind, April 27, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, April 27 at 12:25 pm #

ITW,

My house does have a tin roof, and walls.  One way to tell my house is by my special collection of ladders going around the house, and the large picking ladders lined up standing along the walk way. Ladders around the house come in handy repairing leaks every time it rains. All the ladders are set up so people have to walk under them, for bad luck.  Probably why I still have my record player and the black cats inside.

The postman refused to deliver mail to my door.  So my mailbox is on the edge of the street now, I have a mannequin from the long closed Montgomery Wards.  She is set up on the side of the road, holding the mail box with one hand and waving the flag the other, I have to keep her dressed, because the neighbors get offended? I suspect the post man is becoming attached to her.  If she ends up missing, I will have my suspicions. Sometimes I take her for a ride in my truck, but she doesn’t fit in the cab easily,  unless she lays across my lap with her head sticking out the window on one side and her feet the other. She lost her wig one time.  It is hard to shift gears with her in the cab,  so she has to ride in back with some of my cats.

One of my neighbors has the hubcaps you are talking about, the only hubcaps I have or the ones I made out of garbage can lids for my truck, unfortunately they seem to come up missing.
****************************************

You must have a cousin/brother/(both) in South Carolina who has the SAME house!

I don’t understand the ladders for a leaking roof. 
See, it’s it’s leaking, it must be raining and you can’t go on a roof in the rain, you’ll slide off. I had a buddy do that and had to have his ankle surgically put back together just days before his wedding.

But you can’t fix it when it’s not raining ‘cuz it doesn’t leak then…..............................

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By Night-Gaunt, April 27, 2009 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

Huzaifa Parhat, a fruit peddler, has been imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay Detention Center for the last seven years. He is not a terrorist. He’s a mistake, a victim of the war against al Qaeda. An interrogator first told him that the military knew he was not a threat to the United States in 2002. Parhat hoped he would soon be free, reunited with his wife and son in China. Again, in 2003, his captors told him he was innocent.Parhat and 16 other Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority group, were living in a camp west of the Chinese border in Afghanistan when the U.S. bombing campaign against the Taliban destroyed the village where they were staying. They fled to Pakistan, but were picked up by bounty hunters to whom the U.S. government had offered $5,000 a head for al Qaeda fighters.

I did say “bounty” not “US bounty hunters” and I haven’t heard if it has been rescinded yet or not. That is where the bulk of the detainees known and unknown were taken. Not on the battlefield but off the streets of metropolitan cities. Thank you for that bit of datum.

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By Leefeller, April 27, 2009 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

ITW,

My house does have a tin roof, and walls.  One way to tell my house is by my special collection of ladders going around the house, and the large picking ladders lined up standing along the walk way. Ladders around the house come in handy repairing leaks every time it rains. All the ladders are set up so people have to walk under them, for bad luck.  Probably why I still have my record player and the black cats inside.

The postman refused to deliver mail to my door.  So my mailbox is on the edge of the street now, I have a mannequin from the long closed Montgomery Wards.  She is set up on the side of the road, holding the mail box with one hand and waving the flag the other, I have to keep her dressed, because the neighbors get offended? I suspect the post man is becoming attached to her.  If she ends up missing, I will have my suspicions. Sometimes I take her for a ride in my truck, but she doesn’t fit in the cab easily,  unless she lays across my lap with her head sticking out the window on one side and her feet the other. She lost her wig one time.  It is hard to shift gears with her in the cab,  so she has to ride in back with some of my cats. 

One of my neighbors has the hubcaps you are talking about, the only hubcaps I have or the ones I made out of garbage can lids for my truck, unfortunately they seem to come up missing.

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By Leefeller, April 27, 2009 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Om, your bias is showing:

Inferred, deduced or implied, is self promoted in argument only, a weak attempt to promote personal agendas. On the other hand,  arguments written towards the oppositions are deemed acceptable because they are well written?  Vagueness serves as a weak argument, when one is found complaining for the self, while openly applauding acceptance of preciseness towards the opposition.  Agendas do seem to promote bias as such, reason is absent when emotion is present.

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By Shenonymous, April 27, 2009 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

1 of 2 Response to Night-Gaunt
“Hazy” doesn’t describe it. There is an open bounty on “terrorists” by the USA and so people are snatched off streets and brought in paid and the people dragged off the whatever hell is in store for them. I say keep in in a 5 star location because they deserve nothing less in the horrors they continue to experience. They are being held on the word of mercenaries who are in it for a buck. Considering how expedicious it was to abduct them and transfer them to the worse conditions possible the least we can do is to make amends. Last that I recall not one of them once released were charged in their home country. A few, understandably pissed off at the torture treatments by our freedom loving American thugs decided that now they have a reason to hate and attack us. That is to be expected. Wouldn’t you Shenonymous be inclined or not begrudge those others who do?[/]

Where would you be getting your information about the bounty hunters, Night-Gaunt?  An article from the TimesOnline UK cites some extraordinary rendition permitted for terrorist suspects, but whisked away criminals of other kinds.  I would say that the British certainly have the edge on eveyone else when it comes to raising eyebrows, especially at American behavior.  Let’s see the ones TimesOnline UK wrote about was 2005 and 2007 so that means singularly a Bush Administration practice.  The 2002 abduction noted in the January 7, 2009 Harvard Law School online news journal story of Parhat, the Uighur, is a travesty, but complex. 
http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/spotlight/terrorism-and-national-security/habeas-corpus.html
Yes he was renditioned by US bounty huners as an al Qaeda fighter but wasn’t one after all.  However because of the unique situation of Uighurs and China’s possible intention to torture these ethnic Muslims, for what reason was not stated, they cannot be sent back to their country of origin.  His treatment in the Gitmo prison is an abomination, to be sure.  It is truly a mess, you are right!

Making amends will come eventually.  What form that takes is the question.  Parhat is only one out of an unnumbered amount so the process will be slow.  What is interesting is why the media hasn’t blitzed the world with this story.  It is a perfect story for many of the leftist news services.  Harvard is only interested since it is a law school and the story is all about the law.

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By Shenonymous, April 27, 2009 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

2 of 2 Reply to Night-Gaunt
In a word this is terrorism writ large by our own country and Obama should at the very least expedite far better conditions. Tell me Shenonymous, would you want to suffer in Gitmo for 7 years for doing nothing and having little chance of getting out deserve some five star treatment afterward? Don’t they? Same with the Uigairs who they just keep incarcerated after they are ‘freed’ because they are a problem for China, from the area called Xian Jaing.
One wouldn’t be acting in haste for justice delayed seven years now would it? Or am I just being “emotional” on this?

Of course not, I would not want to spend even a nanosecond in prison for absolutely no reason. It is outrageous I agree.  Unlike you though, while I find treatment of innocents who are incarcerated under the worst conditions imaginable, barbaric and disgraceful, Obama simply has to be given the time to take care of things.  He has had more garbage dumped on his plate with a shovel than we can even imagine.  He has to be ubiquitous to handle all the acute problems left by the former administraton.  Guantanamo is just one of those carbuncles.  We have to keep in mind that not only are American bounty hunters heartless, also Afghani bounty hunters paid with US dollars were also picking up Arabs and selling them to the US.  There is a morality in that?  According to the very long Harvard report, the US captured about 5% of these bound for Guantanamo.

Many questions remain not only about the treatment of prisoners, the torture practices, length of time of wrongful incarceration, and what to do with the ones released, but the imperative of an open dialogue about what is the “acceptable” thing to do with terrorists caught and put in prison is demanded. War is not pretty or polite.  There is no etiquette except for the Geneva Conventions and while America has skirted the edge of those conventions and even gone over the edge ignoring them to a degree, they are not even in the vocabulary of the enemies of America.  It goes to a higher question of what morality the world is now involved in and is it much different from that which is found throughout history?  It is a very complicated question that war poses and terrorist war heightens even more.

As far as ordinary American citizens being outraged, I think they should be, I know I am. But what ought we to do except lend our voice to our government representatives, the news media, and of course blogs like this one.  The level of emotion is a private thing.  I personally hate war and wished it was not necessary.  But it seems it is a necessary evil since there are those who would do my family and me and other Americans harm.  And if you are an American, you and your family are not exempt from that harm.  Terrorism strikes where it is least expected as that is their game plan.  How many in the world today were killed by extremists?  I shudder whenever I hear about such stories as told about Sri Lanka in recent days.

I am one who agrees with OM about the UN and the resolution to squash criticism of religions although I hardly believe the CIA is fomenting the problem.  They simply are not needed.  The Islamists are the ones driving this force in my opinion for a myriad of nefarious reasons.  I think the US should voice loud and clear the dishevelment of freedom of speech should this resolution gain more traction.  But that is another problem to be reserved for much needed discussion at a later time.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 27, 2009 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, April 27 at 12:00 am #

ITW,

No, I live near Hoot Owl, across the hollow from Earwax, Va. You can tell you are getting close, by the large piles of kitty litter on the front lawns, the easy rider rifle racks on the pickups, which all happen to have horns that play Dixie and the beer can art in front of the Court House.
**************************************

Oh, OK. I think I’ve been through there.  Is your house the one with the tin roof and the inside-out tires used as planters painted with the Stars’n'Bars?

Or is it the decorated with 10,000 hubcaps, 4 cars and an old school bus on blocks, and a cow sleeping in the front yard and the CSA flag hanging from a flagpole?

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By Leefeller, April 26, 2009 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

No, I live near Hoot Owl, across the hollow from Earwax, Va. You can tell you are getting close, by the large piles of kitty litter on the front lawns, the easy rider rifle racks on the pickups, which all happen to have horns that play Dixie and the beer can art in front of the Court House.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 26, 2009 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, April 25 at 8:25 pm #

ITW,

I have seen your posts in our local newspaper?
*************************

I dunno. 
Have you been reading the St.Lawrence Thousand Island Trout Gazette?
How about the Sheboygan Sheetroller?
Could it be the Siler City Weekly Bugler-Tribune?
Or the Peoria Picayune?

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By Shenonymous, April 26, 2009 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Sorry OzarkMichael, I missed your 11:40 am comment.  Explanation is easy.  I am here responding:

The Report uses explains the fundamental causes of the recent or potential rise of Rightwing extremism as the following two events:
1. the election of an African American to the Presidency of the United States

Far as I can tell there is nothing wrong with pointing that out.  I recall a good friend of mine who is evangelical Christian saying he was concerned as well right before the election.  African Americans, even those 50% white, are not liked very much by the Aryan Nation, one of the right-wing extremist groups.  And those white pointy hats chaps actually express hatred for black Americans.  Do you agree with them?

2. the economic downturn.

This is also understandable as there is extremely high unemployment and statistics show when people are out of work they become more angry and prone to violence.  Anger sometimes puts the fanatic minded in groups who let off their anger in violent acts.  Surely that doesn’t even have to be said!

If this report was generated a year ago, why were the main reasons for the report given as events that occurred a few months ago? How do you explain that?

The document obviously was updated by the new department staff, who let it out of the office before it was ready and reconsidered by Napolitano.  (She was only confirmed about a month ago!  Your candidate for throat cutting).

There is only so much that this administration can blame the prior administration for. This report is not one of them.

I agree with your first sentence.  I disagree with your second.  But “blame” is moot.  The facts speak for themselves.

Night-Gaunt, I will respond to your last post the mentions my name three times.  I can only spend time on one of you two partisans at a time and OM was the one this time.  It is important to me to discuss your questions, but first I need the nourishment of lunch and taking care of a few chores.

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By Shenonymous, April 26, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

Aside from the fact that you continuously dodge most of my questions, I will address yours!
The Leftwing Assessment was much more carefully written. It identifies active extremist groups and actual crimes by them. The Leftist Report deals specifically with particular organizations and particular attack methods those organizations are using now.

Knowing that (and I did read it too), is a sign of excellence!  I’m glad it was well-written unlike the one about the militant extremist Right-Wingers.  Someone was doing a good job.  Now wasn’t that after Obama took office?  Obviously we (you and I) have a difference of opinion.  That is all right isn’t it?  The world contains much that can be laid at the feet of Difference.

OM, I agree with the 2nd paragraph of your 9:43 am post.

The Obama administration crossed a line when they wrote the Rightwing Report. Napolitano’s reputed apology for the Report is a start but she needs to be more official and direct. If the protection of freedom is not a good enough reason, I appeal to a principle of etiquette which I learned from an African American pastor whose church i attended a long time ago: A false public accusation demands a retraction be made in public.

The spirit of the document was correct!  You blame the whole when the “faux pas” was the result of a part.  The document was prepared by a staff member, not Napolitano, just as the one in January was, only by a brighter staff member. She did make a public apology, and you are simply wanting to cut her throat! Do that and you would be guilty of murder! Even metaphorically speaking. Meaning you are offering your small lens interpretation.

Etiquette?  How naive!  You are too used to bowing.  For me it is the Adam syndrome.  Ah so!  Yessa massa.  The Obama administration did not cross any line at all.  It is explained sufficiently what happened and the right apologies were made to the agency to which it belonged, The American Legion.  The rest of the document properly expresses concerns about militant radical and fanatical right-wing extremist groups.  It is foolish to not be cognizant of the observations that document made of right-wing extremists.  Your focus is on minutiae, trivialities, you already admitted it was vague.  Yes, do box shadows, it is always invigorating.

The fact that the Right-Wing Extremist threat document is vague should really work in your favor.  There is no detail that can be prosecuted.  You know that the courts do not uphold obscurities and ambiguities, especially a conservative Supreme Court.  It is the Left-Wing extremists that have to worry since that group’s sins are spelled out!  It will be easier to go after them! 

This principle is correct even though he was strong enough to turn the other cheek, and his little flock was willing to turn the other cheek. It took him more than one sermon and one meeting to get us to understand it. It requires a wise Christian to know when to apply this rule and a strong Christian to do it.

Among those right-wing extremist things you support you might support violence against doctors and women who are involved in abortion, but any such action is a completely unlawful violation of their own right to life and right to choose. That violence is unChristian. Regardless, this is not as Christian a nation as you think.  It is predominantly Christian, and I do not have a problem with that as long as they are law abiding and respectful of others right to life and pursuits.  The issue over whether embryos or fetuses represent humans with rights is debatable.  It depends on your (and those who agree with you) closed system vs my (and those who agree with me) closed system.  Religion does not run this country nor do wise Christians, or foolish ones!  A responsible government is commanded to protect its citizens.

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By OzarkMichael, April 26, 2009 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

The Leftwing Assesment was much more carefully written. It identifies active extremist groups and actual crimes by them. The Leftist Report deals specifically with particular organizations and particular attack methods those organizations are using now.

More importantly it did not imply that the entire political Left is a ‘pool’ of recruitment to Leftwing terrorism. Therefore it did not attempt to justify intense scrutiny of Leftist causes. Which by the way is the proper approach. I do not want Leftist causes to be under intense scrutiny by law enforcement agencies. The fact that this may happen in 4 years, 8 years, or 12 years is bad news.

The Obama administration crossed a line when they wrote the Rightwing Report. Napolitano’s reputed apology for the Report is a start but she needs to be more official and direct. If the protection of freedom is not a good enough reason, I appeal to a principle of ettiquette which I learned from an African American pastor whose church i attended a long time ago: A false public accusation demands a retraction be made in public.

This principle is correct even though he was strong enough to turn the other cheek, and his little flock was willing to turn the other cheek. It took him more than one sermon and one meeting to get us to understand it. It requires a wise Christian to know when to apply this rule and a strong Christian to do it.

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By OzarkMichael, April 26, 2009 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

I might point out again, that the report was started under the Republican conservative president, George Bush!  How do you explain that?

I did not answer because I figured it was just a debate point. Ok, you really mean it and I should answer you.

The Report uses explains the fundamental causes of the recent or potential rise of Rightwing extremism as the following two events:

1. the election of an African American to the Presidency of the United States.

2. the econonomic downturn.

If this report was generated a year ago, why were the main reasons for the report given as events that ocurred a few months ago? How do you explain that?

There is only so much that this administration can blame the prior administration for. This report is not one of them.

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By Shenonymous, April 25, 2009 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

Taking the pragmatic view, since that is the best way to engage the world of experience, I will say that I cannot see the future.  Nevertheless let’s just hypothesize for your benefit. 

What you are saying is that theoretically a radical change in the view of extremism will take place because conservatives will win some future election.  No doubt, but probably not for a long time.  But since we are hypothesizing, let us assume they do.  And that liberal ideals and goals will be seen as what? Violent in pursuit of the principles of democracy and equality?  I would not retreat from those…ever. 

I might point out again, that the report was started under the Republican conservative president, George Bush!  How do you explain that?

However that might be, why isn’t the fact that a similar report was made on Left-Wing extremists January 26 that explicitly warns of violence from those radicals?  It is very curious that no similar outcry in the media or among ultra-leftists has been made.  Why?  Because these are studies done for the express purpose of anticipating possible terrorist activity from within the country.  There are historical instances of that happening.  We need not recite them again and again.  But the furor on the Right-Wing extremists is just another precious moment in the annuals of ultra-conservatives whose assault is relentless on this President.

While this unearthed January memo was mentioned peripherally by The Washington Times, reading the whole memo in full shows clearly that a similar approach was employed towards the left and deflates any claims of DHS “bias.” The “other” left-wing extremist document broadly defines those extremists as people who espouse some essentials of “anticapitalist” or “antiglobalization” ideas.

Ah yes, as I mentioned before to another zealous commenter who also borders on fanaticism of a different stripe, “the smell of blood is most compelling to those who would inflict the wounds.”  I feel more than a modicum of relief OzarkMichael!  I feel a momentous amount of relief.  BIg Sigh!

Reported at Time Online April 24 – She apologizes for the report, and elsewhere…The Wasington Post -
“The report was not worthy of this department, or of veterans,” Napolitano said to Rehbein, according Legion spokesman Craig Roberts, who attended the meeting. “It was very badly written and should never have been released,” she said.

Seems to me she fulfilled your wishes OzarkMichael. Or shall I get the dish to catch more of the blood you seek?  I’d rather get a dish of milk for cats.

Taking the “fair” road, it is quite true that the right wing memo was poorly done and created a political problem where there should never have been one.  But this new memo about leftist radicals, which is equally bungled in parts, clearly shows that a right-wing investigation isn’t the result of sole “bias” among DHS employees or anyone else.  Both are justified.

You can check out the “left-wing extremist report here:
http://opntalk.blogspot.com/2009/04/dhs-report-leftwing-extremists.html

Leftwing extremists have been known to use the tactic of direct action to inflict economic damage on businesses and other targets to force targeted organizations to give up what the extremists deem objectionable,” it says. “Direct actions range from animal releases, property theft, vandalism, and cyber attacks — all of which extremists regard as nonviolent — to bombings and arson. (which unquestionably are).”

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By OzarkMichael, April 25, 2009 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

The Homeland Security Assessment implies that rightwing extremists can be identified as those individuals or groups(such as pro life) expressing strong opposition to the agenda and policies of the current administration. It asks for intense scrutiny of these groups. It would appear to give the green light to do the following: to demand lists of donors to such groups, to monitor meetings of such groups. But even if no action is taken, the threat of these actions will diminish participation, activism, and dissent to the Obama Administration. This is a terribly dangerous precedent.

The Constitional rights that this would encroach upon include freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and freedom of association.

I will risk more “paranoia” and “psychosis” abuse by going a step further: Whenever the Government encroaches on fundamental rights, at some point it is the government that falls under scrutiny, it is the government that must prove its case.

If Janet Napolitano will not give a compelling reason for some of the statements in the report, then she should retract the report until it can be corrected. If she does not do so there should be congressional hearings where she would be called to testify.

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By Leefeller, April 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

I have seen your posts in our local newspaper?

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By OzarkMichael, April 25, 2009 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

While you may be indignant about such a report, I and many others feel a modicum of relief that the federal government takes it seriously and are thinking about it.

Someday there will be another election. Someday a conservative will win. Homeland Security will make an assessment about far left extremists. Causes you believe in will be linked to terrorist agenda. Law inforcement agencies will be asked to investigate.

Will you feel a modicum of relief then, Shenonymous?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 25, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Are you suggesting I’m getting forgetful?  How dare you!...now if I can only remember what I’m indignant about…............................. smile

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By Shenonymous, April 25, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

The fear of inequality can be pathological.  When that fear becomes severe, it does become pathological. The right-wing extremists have such a fear and it is a disease of the mind.  It is excessive to the point of being dangerous to others who do not agree with them or look like them.  They are as much a threat to a peaceful society as are the Islamist militant extremists.  While you may be indignant about such a report, I and many others feel a modicum of relief that the federal government takes it seriously and are thinking about it.  Secretary of Homeland Security apologized to the American Legion and I think quite rightly it was appropriate.  Framing the situation is most important and investigation of alleged attitudes that could result in physical danger to others is of paramount importance.  You seem to want to minimize that danger.  You appear to take offense as a Christian and it also appears it is so that you can mount a defense of your religion.  If Christianity is strong and true, it would not need such a defense.  It is a dangerous mental sandwich you are building here.  You standing in the middle of extremists on both ends.  The militant ultra right-wing rabid bigots on one end, the militant religionists on the other.  Food for war.  I suggest you get yourself a book, “The Third Side: Why We Fight and How We can Stop” by William Ury.  Your style of arguing is of these forms: first, the fallacy of wishful thinking in your first few statements with the implication that just because you wish something is done, that makes it relevant; In Napilatano’s case, a strawwoman, inasmuch as it was someone in her office who imprudently released the document.  David Rehbein of the American Legion accepted her apology in spite of others who have a personal agenda to denigrate any Obama administration appointees and at the drop of a pin call for resignations.  It is sandbox politics.  He stated that her reaction and “explication’ helped the returning veterans.  Republican reaction was exactly as expected, melodramatically vitriolic and rhetorical since no actions are underway.  It is a left over investigation from the Bush Administration, which in itself says Bushels.  M’Gawd, a punny Republican investigation, no less.  Now that is not mildly interesting.  Mountains and mole hills come to mind.  And you commit the fallacy of purported intentions, and could be approximating non-sequitur, such as when you defend your religious postures as a victim so you can then criticize a now fictionalized attack.  That tactic is so typical of the conservative right that it is now antissss si pppp ppated.  There is no basis for your claim.  If that document was truly as vague as you assert, it is contradictorily specific to your statement as containing warnings that “it includes those who profess a belief in Bible end time prophesy, those who speak out strongly against abortion, illegal immigration, and even those who store food out of concern for future economic hard times.”  Now it is either vague or it is specific.  Which is it? 

You also claim “rather common people are called ‘right wing extremists’ For heaven’s sake I have been called that here. Yes, its part of the debate process of painting one’s opponents into a corner?”  Again, please be specific!  I have not ever called you a right-wing extremist.  Neither have a few others.  I don’t know about anybody else.  I admit to being critical of right-wing extremists but I have never called you one!  If you identify with them, and feel the sting, then you are the one who painted yourself in that corner.  I suggest you wait until the paint dries then walk out.

Inherit, are you sure you posted that lost comment to this forum?  You are visiting a couple of other forums.  I only suggest since I’ve done that myself a time, or two! only to be chagrined that when I found it, it seemed anachronistic on that thread.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 25, 2009 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

Oh, well.  TD doesn’t want me posting on this thread—they deleted a post I thought was rather funny and only joking about some members.

Yet they never deleted posts by a certain party saying “I’m warning you!” and challenging me to a field of battle…

So it’s boring again I’m going to stop clicking to page 7.

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By Leefeller, April 25, 2009 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

OM,

The memo does not say one thing that is not true in reality, your overly paranoid response is self induced.  (Guess that is normal in Paranoia?) 

Transparency does not become you.  I see myself as a middle of the road cat owner, I have always felt a large degree of paranoia towards the last Administration. How many non transparent memos do you suppose were written when Bush was in office?  Big brother has always been, only now he is transparent.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 25, 2009 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

“As far as the ‘UN red herring’, you are making it sound like the CIA is behind the UN Resolution against Defamation of Religions? This would be designed to keep nationalists like me on the side of Dominionists? And we will overthrow our republic?”Ozark Micael

Something I constantly hear on right wing radio and in their writings along with the militant atheist embodiment of their worst Enlightenment fears “The Illuminati” who started and controls everything and yet does not. To them the UN is an instrument of Satan and the Anti Christ to use against our sovereignty. They constantly talk about hidden places on our soil run by the “UN” it was a favorite bray of the ultra nationalist militia set and those who support them.

“Night-Gaunt, yes, keeping people in prison whose guilt is as hazy as a day in Mexico City is a travesty. However, it is not so easy to sort out the not so guilty from those who would present a danger to Americans.  Yeah, we’d all like 5-Star conditions and they are working on getting better Holiday Inn facilities and food from whilst trials or investigations take place.  Yeah, it is a bit of a new face that gets me, and a new way of dealing with things with proper and due deliberation.  There is no reason to be reactive when all the facts are not known.”Shenonymous

“Hazy” doesn’t describe it. There is an open bounty on “terrorists” by the USA and so people are snatched off streets and brought in paid and the people dragged off the whatever hell is in store for them. I say keep in in a 5 star location because they deserve nothing less in the horrors they continue to experience. They are being held on the word of mercenaries who are in it for a buck. Considering how expedicious it was to abduct them and transfer them to the worse conditions possible the least we can do is to make amends. Last that I recall not one of them once released were charged in their home country. A few, understandably pissed off at the torture treatments by our freedom loving American thugs decided that now they have a reason to hate and attack us. That is to be expected. Wouldn’t you Shenonymous be inclined or not begrudge those others who do?

In a word this is terrorism writ large by our own country and Obama should at the very least expedite far better conditions. Tell me Shenonymous, would you want to suffer in Gitmo for 7 years for doing nothing and having little chance of getting out deserve some five star treatment afterward? Don’t they? Same with the Uigairs who they just keep incarcerated after they are ‘freed’ because they are a problem for China, from the area called Xian Jaing.

One wouldn’t be acting in haste for justice delayed seven years now wwould it? Or am I just being “emotional” on this?

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By OzarkMichael, April 25, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

It would be an interesting thing to study each terrorist event over the last 50 years and find out which side(right or left) contributes more than its share of Loonies. And then we could see if we could pin them on each other. I would like to focus on the Homeland Report instead.

It would be interesting to study the evolution of the document released by Homeland Security. But the final product, its wording and its intention, its flaws and its ideology, are clearly those of the current administration. There the responsibility rests.

Barack Obama ‘wont get involved in the politics of the matter’ if I remember the administration’s official response. That was not a good answer. But I do not want to chase that either.

There will be time later to find out whose idea it was, and to find out why Napolitano released the document against the advise of civil rights lawyers on her staff. At the very best she was careless with wording, at the very worst she hopes to intimidate the citizens of this country who disagree with her on certain political issues. Either way, she should resign.

Let me try to focus attention on the issue. Fox News I do not care about. Cats I do not care about.

The Homeland Security Report is a directive to increase surveillance with intense scrutiny not unlike that imposed after a group has committed a terrorist act. It is sent to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. It commands that there be regional investigations into the political, economic and social factors that it listed.

Because it is written so vaguely it includes those who profess a belief in Bible end time prophesy, those who speak out strongly against abortion, illegal immigration, and even those who store food out of concern for future economic hard times.

Remember the language here at Truthdig, in which rather common people are called ‘right wing extremists’ For heaven’s sake I have been called that here. Yes, its part of the debate process of painting one’s opponents into a corner. I have always maintained that it is a bad habit. I have asked more than once, “What if you or people who think like you do get into power? You have to be more discriminating with your language. You are not ready to win power.”

The Homeland Security Assessment would be fine if it was a Truthdig article. Or if it was written by a Truthdig blogger who is perfectly within her right to carelessly brand her opponents as ‘hate-filled’ ‘criminals’ ‘racists’ etc.

Janet Napolitano is certainly allowed to express her opinions. She is not ready to be the head of Homeland Security.

I have not convinced any of you to take this seriously. I will take the responsibility for that, maybe I havent stated the issue clearly. I will try to do so this weekend.

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By Shenonymous, April 24, 2009 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Uh, nooooo, that rationalization that Fox ought to be considered the better news outlet has no basis.  They do not have any reputation to be considered as such except for your alleged unconfirmed bias fallacy.  There is no way to check your claim, or theirs.  But even in the face of that, let’s suppose the document has credible origin.  I don’t turn my nose up at Fox News, I even sometimes catch their broadcast.  But I do blow my nose at them often.  Yes I admit I have a bias, for the truth, not trooth.  You know that!  However, it doesn’t seem to bother you that the document, clearly says, Unclassified/For Official Use Only.  I read the Huffiington Post clear though. From the HP article:  “White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said the right-wing extremist report originated in the Bush administration and Napolitano was working to keep the nation safe from terrorists.”  Things are not always as they seem.  That is a famous quote by Shenonymous even though She did not invent it.

You obviously don’t think rightwing terrorism is non-existent in the United States.  You have forgotten Timothy McVeigh (we were reminded earlier by Leefeller who didn’t), but also Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber.  Shall I provide his Manifesto!  Here is a link to his ‘rightwing” document:
http://www.newshare.com/Newshare/Common/News/manifesto.html

So what do you think of the Aryan Nation and their insane extremist execrations and fanatical spewings? 

Night-Gaunt, yes, keeping people in prison whose guilt is as hazy as a day in Mexico City is a travesty. However, it is not so easy to sort out the not so guilty from those who would present a danger to Americans.  Yeah, we’d all like 5-Star conditions and they are working on getting better Holiday Inn facilities and food from whilst trials or investigations take place.  Yeah, it is a bit of a new face that gets me, and a new way of dealing with things with proper and due deliberation.  There is no reason to be reactive when all the facts are not known.  Transparency has now become a banner word, a slogan, a cliche.  Yes, of course complete opacity is the mark of totalitarianism.  And an informed public is the hallmark of a free nation.  But Night-Gaunt it is not that simple.  You appeal to the emotions, Ad Misericordiam.  Your inductive reasoning does not convince because you leave out too many dependent possible reasons for the pace the changes are going.  And you oversimplify what are relevant complexities.  Authoritarian could describe many entities. The Catholic Church for instance, Islam most definitely, and the extreme militant Christians.  Or how about Israelis in Israel?  There I have not left anyone out have I?  How about the Tamil Tigers? Well, there must be a few other biggies I’ve missed.  You can fill in the blanks I’m sure.  Because you call for ‘immediacy’ in closing black sites doesn’t mean it will happen ‘immediately’ if they in fact are illegal and terrorist in nature.  I agree somewhat with OzarkMichael on this issue.  But it isn’t at all even translucent. Perhaps we can get Leefeller’s cats to lick off the grime except it would probably make them sick.

The huge threat I believe that is facing the world is the insidious appropriation of Pakistan by the militant and truly totalitarian Taliban.  They are goose-stepping right through Pakistan, and after Pakistan, then where?  That is not paranoia talking, that is the hatred for America I heard them say right out of their own mouths.  And no, I do not agree that it is “their” problem.  It is our problem and it is the world’s problem.

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By Leefeller, April 24, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Om,

Out of respect I will check out your link, though I will try not to gag up a hair ball. Maybe I can cover the Fox logo with duct tape. Hope the cats don’t get into hair ball mode, they seem to emulate my moods.

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By OzarkMichael, April 24, 2009 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller you asked important questions earlier.

I would like to work on them this weekend

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By OzarkMichael, April 24, 2009 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt said: And as for “black helicopters” well they are about and are used by our Federal Gov’t usually for black ops missions by our special forces (USSOCOM) to do every thing a Jihadist would do if need be. That is their training and their missions after all. However don’t be fooled by the UN red herring, that is used to keep the nationalists on the Dominionists side who are nationalist at heart. Even if they want to overthrow our republic to do it.

As far as the ‘UN red herring’, you are making it sound like the CIA is behind the UN Resolution against Defamation of Religions? This would be designed to keep nationalists like me on the side of Dominionists? And we will overthrow our republic?

I dont see the connections.

So maybe you could slow down and make a longer post. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt for now.

If you really must get into the Black Helicopter craze you need to prove they do Jihadi things like ritually saw off some infidel’s head.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 24, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Well besides the fact that the ‘black’ part means it is blacked out of the books and left off of the common register should tell you something about the CIA who run them. They will be mentioned in general on the corporate news but no specificity. Get it Ozark Michael? And as for “black helicopters” well they are about and are used by our Federal Gov’t usually for black ops missions by our special forces (USSOCOM) to do every thing a Jihadist would do if need be. That is their training and their missions after all. However don’t be fooled by the UN red herring, that is used to keep the nationalists on the Dominionists side who are nationalist at heart. Even if they want to overthrow our republic to do it.

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By OzarkMichael, April 24, 2009 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, Night-Gaunt, and friends,

Making this about Fox is like making the ethics discussion about… cats.

The link I gave is not to a television show or an op-ed piece. the link is to a copy of the Homeland Security Report released by Janet Napolitano. You leftists really know how to tie a discussion down in red tape.

If i could find a CNN link to an upload of the report would you look at that? Or only a Truthdig link? I suppose you might only look at the Talk2action link?

Shhheeeeessshhhh.

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By OzarkMichael, April 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

The fact that he is reluctant to prosecute those who violated ours and international laws for a start makes him and accessory after the fact. Even I can know that.

No one knows that. Obama is reluctant to prosecute, but there might be other reasons besides a hidden love for fascism. One of which might be that it is not a good precedent for him to prosecute his predecessor. Another reason might be that the truth of what happened is more complicated. Another reason is that the intelligence community needs to function if we ever really need it, and making them feel like they should call a lawyer before they do anything is not conducive to efficiency.

Keeping all of those in prison in violation of our Constitution even now is a crime he continues.

The latest ‘easy’ case of releasing guantanamo prisoners by Obama will show that it isnt so easy. They were Chinese Islamists training with Al Qaeda for jihad against China. We captured them in Afghanistan. We cant send them home because China will kill them. We cant charge them with any crime against the USA.

So Obama plans to release them free as a bird into the USA. Call me fascist if you must, but i resist that plan and people like me are holding it up. For heavens sake dont blame Obama.


Doesn’t that impinge on your conscience or morals at all? Even a tittle?

Yes, i feel bad for them but setting Jihadists free in the USA isnt the answer.

what about the expansion of the Great Patriotic Terrorist War in Afghanistan? Anything that bothers you at all?

I posted about that. Remember my analysis which compared the destabilization in Pakistan(Afghanistan’s neighbor) to Cambodia(Vietnam’s neighbor) Things are even worse in Pakistan now then when i wrote it. 

As for the black sites they are illegal and of a terrorist nature and should be shut down immediately.

This reminds me of a Christian friend of mine who talked about black helicopters. It isnt that i dont respect him, but i was afraid to look into it because it would make me respect him less if he insisted that we discuss nutty stuff. Better for him to change the subject. I let the Black helicopters go into the catagory of collecting PEZ dispensers or keeping 40 cats. Its an odd hobby. If it makes you happy, enjoy it.

Eventually his fascination with the Black hellicopters subsided.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 24, 2009 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

The fact that he is reluctant to prosecute those who violated ours and international laws for a start makes him and accessory after the fact. Even I can know that.

Keeping all of those in prison in violation of our Constitution even now is a crime he continues. Couldn’t he at least put them up in 5 star conditions instead of languishing in Guantanimo or Bagram (which is expanding) and actually follow our laws? Doesn’t that impinge on your conscience or morals at all? Even a tittle? How about the expansion of the Great Patriotic Terrorist War in Afghanistan? Anything that bothers you at all? Or is it a new face gives him time to play with that for a while now too? As for the black sites they are illegal and of a terrorist nature and should be shut down immediately. Transperency is the hallmark of a free nation, opacity of the authoritarian. Do you disagree?

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By Leefeller, April 24, 2009 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

OM,

Differences may be more than perceived. Fox News is not news, not even unbiased current events for sure. Yes FOX is Conservative, bias and opinionated, as stated before, credibility is absent.  Selecting tidbits of wisdom through the truck loads of tripe, would seem self inflected insanity and unreasonably inane. 

Listening to the choir in order to bolster or prop ones opinions, seems slighting to ones reason. Enlightenment of individual thought should require more than counter productive listening to the constant desired listening to Crocodile tears of the wolf by Fox.  Calling news the news, does not make news?  Fox seems more like off shoots of Russ Limbauh or Ann Colter. That said, I prefer not to watch MSM news or TV in general, self proclaimed pundits pontificating does get old.  I find it deadening to the brain and insulting of logic. This may be why I have 40 cats! 

Perceived differences may be propagated in order to fool most of the people some of the time.  For taking focus away from reality or real issues.  Fox is only one part of the smoke and mirrors,  one tiny part of   well established illusion covering many well hidden tracks of reality, why do I return to Plato’s Cave? Deception a tool used since the dawn of man. (and She)

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By OzarkMichael, April 24, 2009 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

What was most disconcerting about your post OM, was after all the hand wringing, your reference of Fox News, credibility becomes an issue.

Yes, it is very disconcerting that only Fox News had the guts to expose this story, and only after they did so the liberal media muttered a few comments into their shirt collars about it. CNN is basically commenting on how Fox reports these stories.

It is disconcerting that you consider my link to a copy of the Homeland Security Report to be tainted because Fox News put it up. Do you think they doctored the document?

And if Fox News were the first ones to publish the information, maybe the only ones to do so, shouldnt we acknowledge that they are the better news outlet?

Especially when we have a President who is more liberal, it is a good thing to have a conservative news outlet. Please dont turn your nose up at it. Consider it the loyal opposition which you will often disagree with. Otherwise you are letting your bias limit what you can learn.

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By Shenonymous, April 23, 2009 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment

Well now….we have Night-Gaunt calling Obama a fascist or at the least a fascist quisling because government sensitive information is not being provided for “transparency.”  The accusation of authoritarianism under the Obama administration is plainly paranoia. Seems reason has sprouted wings.  Governments cannot give away information that its enemies could use (and by popular consensus America has enemies). By use, it doesn’t necessarily mean security secrets given away.  But knowing certain information can give an enemy opportunity to cause havoc in the open media. 

If there was any vestige of totalitarian governing in the USA it was under the Bush administration.  The fact that Obama is not completely the sheet of window glass that you would prefer Night-Gaunt is really just too bad.  You have not provided any evidence that unConstitutional actions has been taken by Obama.  The smell of blood is such a turn-on for some folks especially when the political slicing and dicing is done by those who inflict the wounds.  I am not of any “school” and your aligning me with your fictionalized indoctrinated group is an idle ploy.  I have never expressed a doubt that fascism could not, or could for that matter, happen in America.  So you are just plain using me as a foil for your weakly supported comments. If you are going to invoke some bit of historical information about FDR then maybe you could provide a historical reference so we (I) can check it out for veracity.  Since it is your claim, I shouldn’t have to find the references.  There are tons of information about FDR and what he did and didn’t do!  Politics is a dirty business.  Always was and always will be, everywhere.  But then the way militant men treat other men and women has always been a dirty business too.  Why be surprised that 2009 is more sophisticated than 1934?  The world has more educated people, and more in the world have immediate communications with iphones and the Internet.  Is it like those things did not affect the way people engage the world? 

What Obama does about the travesties of interrogation techniques and camps is nothing I have a right to talk about since I don’t know anything except what I’ve heard and seen on the media, mainstream and not so mainstream.  And everybody knows how unvarnished those avenues of news and information are!  War is hell and all the things that go along with it, torture is what vile men do to other vile men and is a part of war, though some men do it even without a war.  How a country’s leaders protect their people from danger involves necessary evils.  It is not a simple matter.  I hate war and I hate all the things that go along with it.  But my repugnance won’t stop wars or stop the necessity to learn an enemy’s plans or responsibilities for atrocities.  I am not so arrogant to pretend I know what defense of a country must take.  What qualifies you to imply you do?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

Me, I’m not afraid of Conservative Christians or Conservatives in general.  Not one bit. My problem is I know of so very few of either.

However, I AM terrified of radical reactionary Christians and radical reactionaries in general, who like to PRETEND they are “conservative”, just like they like to pretend they believe in freedom—until it means somebody using that freedom to do something they don’t approve of.  They hide behind the word “freedom” when what they want to do is take it away.  The last 8 years that ended 3 months ago is graphic evidence of that.

I LIKE what Obama is doing with foreign relations.  So he shakes Chavez’s hand.  Make Chavez LESS important than snubbing him—and Chavez can’t then back away from dealing with the US.  Opening up to Cuba is to recognize that a 50 year old policy was a dismal failure from Day 1.  Had CARTER been able to open up Cuba, Castro would be long retired.

As for Iran I have been an advocate of talking to them and opening doors, even if only little by little since Clinton. I could not BELIEVE the stupidity of Botch naming them part of the Axis of Evil in Jan 2002, when THEY OFFERED HELP IN AFGHANISTAN!  Now the situation is much worse, but if you are TALKING you can criticize and bargain.

I AM disappointed that Obama didn’t immediately propose repealing the Patriot and Military Commissions Acts. He’s watering them down, but not fast enough.

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By Leefeller, April 23, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

OM,

Reading OM’s list of concerns, some seem worthy of concern, one may want to step back a bit using some objectivity, by taking in the whole picture. 

Was not the Oklahoma Federal Building done by conservatives? That may have only been the tip of the ice berg?  Most of our presidents were shot by Conservatives, not sure about the guy who shot Regan? 

Lumping all Conservatives as one is a mistake, for one of my best friends is a Conservative. Racism is a Conservative political given. Though not set in stone, Conservatives do have a strong share of unrelenting consistently in history, and not all good.

“we are watching you’, we are watching what you are doing and who you are associating with’”.seems so left over from Bush? Is it possible this rethorichto fire up resistance, resentment and have worthy tea bags venting program? Let’s face it the MSM is self propagation. 

What was most disconcerting about your post OM, was after all the hand wringing, your reference of Fox News, credibility becomes an issue. 

Things have turned to shit in a hand basket and Obama is stuck carrying the basket through the woods, though Obama is not Red Riding Hood, I do see a clear connotation of Fox ....news!

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By OzarkMichael, April 23, 2009 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

I have observed that internationally Obama is careful not to use the word terrorist and he is very deferential to Islam, even acknowledging its great contribution to the history of the USA(when? how?)... while making sure that the world understands that we are not a Christian nation. He bows to the King of the most religiously intolerant nation on the planet. He grins with Chavez and apologizes to Ortega. He has opened the door for talks with Ahmahdinijhad(sp). He wont meet with Netanyahu. He will let a Palestinian goverment with Hamas recieve US funds.

There is nothing illegal about this. Or unexpected. Obama is conducting his policy from his political ideology as a socialist. He won the election for change. I hope whatever he is trying to accomplish   pays off somehow.

But the latest socialist move by his administration must not succeed. If you are afraid of totalitarianism then you should resist it.

I will start off with what needs to be done. There needs to be congressional hearings into the Homeland Security report that came out 2 weeks ago. Apparently it was released against the advice of civil rights lawyers in the department. Janet Napolitano needs to be called to testify.  If she cannot provide evidence of an actual threat to the USA then she should be cashiered immediately.

The Homeland Security Report says to conservatives… ‘we are watching you’, we are watching what you are doing and who you are associating with’.

That comes from the United States government. Not just Gore Vidal or talkers at Truthdig. I have waited a week to post this because i have been stunned. Surely its just blog hype. No. I have read it and link it below.

It has the word terrorist in it and it isnt about Al Qaeda. It purports to be aabout extremeists but in detail it about Christians and conservatives.

The President will not use the word terrorists... except for his political opponents.

Opponents who are concerned about illegal immigration, gun control, Bible interpretation concerning the end times, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion. Concerned about the loss of U.S. Constitutional freedom and sovereignty because of ‘small oil producing countries’ (which is oh so careful code for that wonderful great contributor to our history: Islam).

Well, i am guilty of all those concerns.

The report also singles out returning war veterans as particular threats.

My friends, especially Night Gaunt who is so afraid of conservative Christians and fascism, do you cheer this development? Is this going to strengthen our democracy by squashing the Dominionists? Or is it not strong enough for you?

http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/041609_extremism.pdf

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By Leefeller, April 23, 2009 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

I have to buy kitty liter by the truck load, lucky for me,  I have a dump bed on my truck.  Before the election, it was really easy to find which front lawns to dump the used kitty litter on.  All I had to do, was look for McCain Paylin signs, now the election is over, I seem to have a problem,  do you know where FT lives?

The kitty litter is not so bad, but the hair balls are. They are like walking on ball bearings after they dry. You should see my vacuum cleaner.  You know on a busy hair ball night, the gagging sounds alone keep me awake, loosing sleep is not the worst of it.  I’am constantly having nightmares of Pailn giving speeches. Now I hear she is going to be given a huge engraved assault rifle, maybe we will be lucky and she will shoot herself. 

Jedi is having allegory problems with all the cats, so I may have to find other homes for them.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 23, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, April 23 at 12:28 pm #

Don’t nobody move.  The Zionist have sabotaged my spel checker
**********************************

How could you tell?  It’s been broken as long as you’ve been posting!

*****************************************
and now they they continue to semd me messages from Time Past.  And they think I’m crazy.
*****************************************

Do they? I don’t know that they think you’re crazy.  I, OTOH, am convinced yer nutz….but that’s not news to anyone, not even you (I think they got my spel chekker two!)

*****************************************
Inherit- Obama, who is only concerned about maintaining his career and power, is doing it by leading the US into a postmodern police state.
****************************************

Oh, HO!, FolkTruther is bustin’ out the ol’ mind-reader act again, but this time he isn’t focused on li’l ol’ ITW, not when he can read the mind of President Obama!  Think there’s a carny around to work?

At least when you read the mind of George W. Botch, you had a good shot at being right.  It’s not hard to read an empty book, is it?

****************************************
Leefeller,  I heard on the radio about a guy being eaten by his cats, and I worried about you.
******************************************

I think that was Sigfried or Roy, and the kitty was a Siberian White Tiger. However, unless Leefeller has at least 30 litter boxes, that house is gonna really stink enough for the SMELL to be deadly!

*****************************************
Shenonymous-I’ve got to work sometime.

*****************************************

Say, WHAT????

I thought you were a dedicated revolutionary and above (or below) making money…No? Wassup with that?

Meanwhile, of course, I’m now hard-core unemployed and have nothing but time on my hands, it having been 6 business days since I got sacked….

********************************************
I see you guys are going for the all time comment record, but this interfers with my playing solitare for seventy two consecutive days without a break.  Why don’t you do something constructive?  ?But I suppose they said that to the guy who built the Watts Towers.
*********************************************

All time comment record?  That’s like telling a guy with 10 homers he’s on his way to beat Barry Bonds’ lifetime record!

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By Night-Gaunt, April 23, 2009 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Black sites are run by the CIA or other clandestine units that could be in our country or other host countries and are off the books like the “Black Budget” which is hidden in other appropriations like conservation but are spent in subversion and otherwise criminal actions by elements of our gov’t. That is what Obama says he will close down but how can we know without explicated, transparent knowledge of them and their contents? He is also protecting the torurers too. What does that make him? Having them is a lie to our founding and all the rhetoric about how exceptional we are. How arrogant!

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By Leefeller, April 23, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

NG,

What do you mean by black sites?

FT, My cats are all vegetarian cats, they seem to enjoy oatmeal and raisins, though they do seem to look at me funny, maybe like Silvester looking at Tweety?

It seems some people need to belong to a movement, religious or political, it is a way of self serving righteousness.  Actually Obama’s hope and change message was very much on the money, except everyone has their own different idea of what that should mean.  In the end most will feel apart of something but not what they hoped for in the beginning. Responsibility of people of mass ideals is something not wanted or part of their desire. Being a part for the alleged change or hope is all that is required.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 23, 2009 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

If he is not a fascist then why is he supporting and/or defending and/or protecting them and the organizations that are in action. Now saying he will close all black sites but giving no data on every one of them in a full and explicated inventory does nothing for me Shenonymous. It can and has and hasn’t been shut down either. You seem to be of the school that any chance of any kind of authoritarianism is an over blown myth that just can’t happen here. And yet it has and hadn’t been ended just yet. Obama is now part of the un-Constitutional actions when he defends them and wants to ‘get past them’ without any trial. Reminds my of FDR when he found out about the business elite’s plot to take over the USA (he knew nothing about it) but did nothing to them at all. No confiscation, not imprisonment nothing and here we are with their better educated and organized group doing the same thing again but far better and more sophisticated that way back in 1934.

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By Folktruther, April 23, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Don’t nobody move.  The Zionist have sabotaged my spel checker and now they they continue to semd me messages from Time Past.  And they think I’m crazy.

Inherit- Obama, who is only concerned about maintaining his career and power, is doing it by leading the US into a postmodern police state.

Leefeller,  I heard on the radio about a guy being eaten by his cats, and I worried about you.

Shenonymous-I’ve got to work sometime.  I see you guys are going for the all time comment record, but this interfers with my playing solitare for seventy two consecutive days without a break.  Why don’t you do something constructive?  ?But I suppose they said that to the guy who built the Watts Towers.

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By Leefeller, April 23, 2009 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

visceral shrieks, good one ITW. I also checked it out but did not comment for the madness borders on insanity. Sides need visceral shrieks in order to get wind behind their sails, one could say their is movement, but in the end none of the shriekers will be happy.

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By Shenonymous, April 23, 2009 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

ITW, I took your lead and visited that place and found exactly what you said and made what I call a hit and run comment (something I never ever did before, but I felt driven to it by the insanity that prevails.  Guess no one is breaking my arm to be the therapist!.  It was my ususal history lesson of course it goes without saying the dissenters raised their shrieks. The visceral shrieks as you called it.  Laughable really. But that is all right.  I’m out of there and don’t want to get more involved with those of usual inanities, uh, members of The Contingent (a name I gave them on an other forum and this one early on).

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By Inherit The Wind, April 22, 2009 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

She,

Sometimes you realize that TD wants it that way. Pfaff set up his article so “The Contingent” (I like that) would have lots of raw meat to chew on.

There’s not one intelligent post from “TC” on that thread, just a lot of visceral shrieks.  What DO they want?  Insanity?

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By Shenonymous, April 22, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Way….ell, ITW, what do you think?  He is not a fascist, that is a ridiculous claim, as you say, even without looking at their comments, but maybe he isn’t changing the Bush policy.  Could it be for good reason?  Much as I am disgusted with the Bush regime, tooey tooey, spit spit, and I consider myself left of center; don’t we still have to find out the truth, instead of the trooth?  It does need clarification, which is what I insist on doing.  Oh dear.  The Contingent does seem to go over the edge regularly and lose their grip on reality.  They seem to have molded minds from the same muffin tin.  Because a politician does not toe the line according to the radical left, with some right-wingers thrown in to spice up the sauce, doesn’t justify calling them a fascist.  It is the same-old (samo) name-calling trick.  You know that!  It is never the way it seems.  Simplistic cures for simplistic minds.  Don’t you agree?  Shall “we” let it happen?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

She,

FT’s over on another thread agreeing with the other sheeple that Obama is a fascist continuing the Bush fascism and other such ridiculous fantasies.

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By Shenonymous, April 22, 2009 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

Nod nod, oh Great Jedi, and here is an electronic cartwheel!  That is how I shall pay my respects.  Yippiee!

I will put together a hymnal for the next time I visit your wholly place.  Yes, the Black Wholly is a brethren.  We take e-walks together.  (that was corrupted into Ewoks for cinematic purposes).

Oh by the way, would you, the high priest please say again what are the Jedi Rules of War?  I didn’t quite understand adf23^(H)%$$erezJwKh dfazxc"zndPiohe*))*3w! & #@)#$&

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By Leefeller, April 22, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Jedi, believes in the Force, so may the Force be with you. 

Jedi says, Holy is an unknown word, unless one means Wholly with a W?  For their is the Great Black Wholly, unknown to most except Jedi, which is different than the well known Black Hole which is really not a Hole in one. Jedi does not know were the hole enchilada is?

Jedi teaches the Jedi way only by word of mouth also by the web for the convincing of it. Jedi cannot be in all places at all times like the Force which can be in more than two places at all times. It has been found the web keeps integrity of the written word unless cheapened by the Dark Force who is quite the joker. 

Jedi says, the web,  opposed to books or movies edited for TV, which have parts cut out or rewritten to fit the personal agendas or promotions of special interests. The web is pure as Ivory Snow, though Jedi does not know what that means, but it sounds good.

May the Force be with you.

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By Shenonymous, April 22, 2009 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Your euphoria may be premature ITW, as I think Folktruther has taken a powder.  Weep weep.  I might have to go looking for it on another forum.  Dang. But I for one enjoy the theater you two provide.  It is like watching a Punch and Judy show.  And in these dreadful times (when were they not dreadful?) humor goes a very long way.  That is why I am thankful for chaps like Leefeller who amazingly can see through the crap (which ain’t easy as it takes see-through-shit glasses), and show human foibles for what they are:  Filled with catshit savation only through participation in a Jedi neo-non-religion. He provides the much needed break from seriousotics like myself and you know who the others are (include yourself) some of which do occasionally make a humorous remark to interrupt the tension.

So Leefeller, if one wants to, because of some mental aberration, visit with your cat named Connecticut?  I suppose you know better than anyone how to herd cats.  I have many more questions.  You might contemplate writing a manual and in it you could also give holy consideration to the Jedi Way.  Mannnn, I know I am an acolyte!  Your first member, oh Great Founder.  I will wait with bated breath, not fetid, for the holy book to come out in the Noble Barn.  Meow

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By Inherit The Wind, April 22, 2009 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, April 21 at 11:50 pm #

It is easy to name forty cats, all I did was name each one after a state of the Union, with eight left for good measure. I was going to name them after the presidents, but they were to hard to remember, the Presidents, not the cats. Thought about the 40 thieves who may be related to the 78 Virginians in some way, maybe next time.

FT, may be on the cut off list, so in attempting to annoy one guy FT in this case, we may actually be annoying everyone else?
**************************************

Sounds like a plan! Let’s go for it (if we’re not already there…..)

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By Leefeller, April 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

It is easy to name forty cats, all I did was name each one after a state of the Union, with eight left for good measure. I was going to name them after the presidents, but they were to hard to remember, the Presidents, not the cats. Thought about the 40 thieves who may be related to the 78 Virginians in some way, maybe next time.

FT, may be on the cut off list, so in attempting to annoy one guy FT in this case, we may actually be annoying everyone else?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 21, 2009 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

or spell “tequila”...I should have drunk rum instead—it’s easier to spell.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 21, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

(oops…that’s 4 things…too much tequilla tonight)
I USUALLY can count to 4…

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By Inherit The Wind, April 21, 2009 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, April 21 at 8:10 pm #

Can it be possible, I have surrounded myself with 40 cats because the number 40 has a special meaning? Cats do not seem to have Universal morality, though I am not sure what that means,instead it is a fact cats have Universal mortality, hence 9 lives?

Hope Folktruther is not getting these, because if ITW finds out this site is annoying to Folktruther and he is doomed to receive these, I believe there ITW would be posting up a storm, no I am not going to say a storm raining cats and dogs.

*******************************************

Hey! What did I do?  But….Annoy FolkTruther…hmmmmm, tempting, very tempting.

But all you need to know about Folktruther is two things:

1) The man has no taste.  If anyone prefers Fijis to Royal Galas, well, I don’t want to eat at restaurants HE recommends!  I don’t even want to got to movies he likes!

2) Of course FT is a functional moron, but a (mostly) lovable one.  He’s bought into Leefeller’s BS about having 40 cats, which with Lee’s mischievous sense of humor has, shall we say, a significant probability of being, well, BS (but all in good litter-filled fun of course).

3) Then again let’s not JUST YET put FT’s boob “fascination” to sleep….

4) I say this knowing FT HAS a sense of humor—a very rare and precious commodity among super-extremists like himself—think of ....well ANY of ‘em besides good ol’ FT!

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By OzarkMichael, April 21, 2009 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Thank you for the music, Shenonymous.

Thank you for the 40 cats, Leefeller. Would it be safe to say that you know them each and every one? And is it possible that you actually have names for them all?

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By Leefeller, April 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

Can it be possible, I have surrounded myself with 40 cats because the number 40 has a special meaning? Cats do not seem to have Universal morality, though I am not sure what that means,instead it is a fact cats have Universal mortality, hence 9 lives?

Hope Folktruther is not getting these, because if ITW finds out this site is annoying to Folktruther and he is doomed to receive these, I believe there ITW would be posting up a storm, no I am not going to say a storm raining cats and dogs.

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By Shenonymous, April 21, 2009 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

Gala gala gala gala gala gala gala gala gala gala, it’s gala ap ap apples for meeeeee!  You think I care if I’m weird, FT.  Nana nana na na… it takes one to know one!  Now I have made friends with a grandma who has a hand bag who does not flinch at smacking someone in the hade.  So, just watch it.  You are the second guy I’ve had to say that to today!  (The Leefeller guy with the 40 cats, he doesn’t know that Lilith can contact the dade, and She isn’t even a wiccan! But She does have one way wicked cool fat fuzzyfaced yellow cat!) Now looky here guys, with all this talk about apples and cats and morality I’m feeling a song comin’ on…    Letttttt’s seeeee….

Here is something for you Folktruther! It is kind of sappy, but I’ll abide it just f’you.  YOU do have to click the forward pointing arrowhead in the middle of the video. Just in case you don’t speak Chinese translation in English is below the video.
http://truthinchina.blog.co.uk/2008/12/01/theme-song-of-the-movie-forever-youtube-5142911/

FT:  Just click the link at the bottom of your emails that look like this…

If you’d like to STOP receiving notifications
for comments on this story, click here:  then click the
http://www......

Then here is one for the 40 Cats CatMan Leefeller
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/matthew_moore/blog/2007/11/27/talking_cats_a_youtube_morality_tale
Pardon the language in the third vid on the site.  This one is quite hysterical.  May the force be with you!

And here is a bunch of ‘morality’ songs…for any one who like old parlor songs.
http://www.parlorsongs.com/issues/2006-2/thismonth/feature.php
Morality in Music, Songs with a moral lesson all dripping with syrup.

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By Leefeller, April 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

It should be known, I eat my french fries without any cat soup!

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By Folktruther, April 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

You’re wierd, Shenonymous.  Fiji apples are much better than Gala apples.  At least you don’t have 40 cats like some people I could mention.

Why am i still getting this endless thrread?  Erasing the checkmark doesn’t do it, apparantly for Cyerna either.  Arrrggh.

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By Leefeller, April 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Universal or higher morality is now being tested with the grand stunting of torture, deemed by one side as armorial or not by the other actually accepted.

Looking at the arguments of the moral differences of torture as the stomach turns, like the first Republican alleged debate. Past regiously promoted and acceptance of torture, via your neighborhood inquisition, popcorn and seats extra.

So we have the few, the many and finally the higher standard of Universal Morality?  Pit stop comment here!

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By Shenonymous, April 21, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

1 of 2 Continuation of discussion of morality with OzarkMichael
Exactly. The point is that by acting in accord with the local morality, one propogates it to the other people around you. And you propogate it within yourself. 

To propagate means to breed, reproduce, or spread.  If this society has a moral code, then the seeds were sown, and the plant has already grown and what further needs to be done is nourish, fertilize and encourage adherence otherwise corruption of the morality will trickle in. 

I sat behind a man at a meeting. He interrupted the speaker at times. I absent-mindedly and softly tapped the back of his chair repeatedly.

He turned to me and with real indignation told me that it wasnt right for me to tap the chair he was sitting in.

The man did not give it a thought. it was a reflex. Even though he acted towards the speaker with interruptions, he appealed to a higher standard of behaviour than his own when he turned to me.
Whenever people say, “That isnt fair!” they are appealing to a standard over and against the local morality.
 

A different standard, not necessarily a higher one, as they are appealing to their own conditioned sense of conscience or fair play not some on the spot divinely handed-down-on-clay-tablets code of ethics, and they can react quickly seemingly without any thought.  But at some time in their past they learned to react that way, so that now it is reflexive.  How one develops one’s own conscience is as I have already said, from at least three sources, religious training, secular mores or conventions, and philosophical intuitions. The development of conscience, or moral development, necessarily involves the formation of a consistent value system on which to base decisions concerning behaviors involving right, wrong, good or bad distinctions.  The value system is the set of underlying assumptions about the standards that rule moral decisions.  These underlying assumptions is what builds the Universal Morality.  Those underlying assumptions are what needs to be determined, by the humans who think about such things, not left as a decree from a universal apparitional mind.

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By Shenonymous, April 21, 2009 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2 Morality/Cont.
On principle, as long as one stays within a closed system, such as a religious community, or a non-religious but rather secular community, or through philosophical consideration, then the conscience will be in accord with that closed system.  But that isn’t the way the world works.  Take the Amish for instance, a religious-based group in existence today, or any Islamic conclave, such as the Taliban.  Within those parameters, one’s conscience will be taught, learned, conditioned.  People within those closed societies do leave and join different societies that may have different underlying values, hence a different moral code.  In one of them, Islam, those people are considered as apostates and are subject to the severest punishment. so a very strong sense of conscience is more or less forced.  I recently ran across a website and the title of the article was “Teaching Kids to Develop Conscience.”  What was being taught was the author’s perception of what was proper thinking about how to deal with others.  She gave a list of bad behaviors, which seem to be “universally” bad, and she had the opinion that conscience is taught!  That may or may not be true, but without due consideration, without due philosophical investigation, we cannot know if there are any aspects of conscience that are innate or if it is completely learned. I think that is the crux of our discussion here.

Behavior of an individual who elects to stay in a particular society where his/her conscience was developed may or may not be moral according to that society if some personal corruption of that system’s morals are seen as inadequate (such as the man’s iindignation at his shoulder being tapped on and not seeing his transference of annoyance) when compared to the society’s necessary morality.  Therefore, the violator would be chastised somehow, either by ostracism, or kicked out, or imprisoned, or, depending on how vehement is the violation, executed.  Let’s take a recent case of a German Catholic Bishop Williamson, who’s public views on the Holocaust caused much embarassment to the Pope, and possibly the entire Catholic community.  I say that because while it may have been forgotten, the Pope speaks as the representative of the Christian God, Roman Catholic by sect, and makes infallible statements.  At any rate, the Bishop’s anti-Semitic views were a reflection of his own conscience, developed so it seems from an autocratic style of thinking.  This man was ostracized and censured by the Church community.  Right or wrong is not at issue here.  The fact that one’s personal conscience does not always override the societies.  The Bishop did apologize but does anyone really believe his contrition?

So to what set may a conscience appeal when the society’s set of morals are not sufficient?  That is where a definition of Universal or Highest Authority must be devised.  This Universal Morality must be intuited some way, and that way is through candid and fearless discussion within the members of the society.  Sometimes what is the case is a suppression of free speech and that seems to be one of the ubiquitous higher laws, inalienable rights that override any societies local set of moral codes.  I just gave one.  How about instead of the banter, that you provide one, and others should as well?  For I think I am demonstrating also a personal code of ethics by saying ‘should’ for inclusion of those considered within this e-community.  Was it a learned response or was I born with the inclination?  Nurture or nature? 

And 40 cats!  Yikes! That means a lot of meow mouths to feed, and you must have a cat symphony several times a day? Are you able to orchestrate them, Leefeller the CatMan?  Shall I ask…how terrible of me, nature or nurture?

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By Leefeller, April 21, 2009 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

Well, I happen to be a cat lover, and have 40 cats in my house, I have been saving them from becoming fine food in our local ethnic restaurants, you know cat meat is a treat for some people. If I was afraid of cats, my moral dilemma would just be starting. Yes, my cats do have fleas. 

Lunch is over, so this is as far as I can go, for now!

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By Leefeller, April 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

“Standing above’ but why not different? Local compared to Universal?

Review of defined morals according to “She” may be in order for one to be on some sort of the same wave length. Morals may have more than one meaning? Ethics, right from wrong becomes almost a form of indoctrination according to who has the bigger club. 

Discussion of personal and small groups of morals has been done on past posts, I will go back and attempt to assimilate what morals may be from those posts.

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By OzarkMichael, April 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller: When one says they did not mean what they said, this is the second time I have read words of meaning, not meant to be?

The example was meant to illustrate a process. If i had taken a real issue as my example your post would line up for or against the real issue instead of the process which i described. So the cats were meant to save time. But see, even taking a ‘safe’ make-believe issue like Cats and i still get questions… about… the… cats.

Which is funny. How long can you keep this up?

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By OzarkMichael, April 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

The fact that the people would run away from the reviled cats does not break laws nor any code of conduct.  Just the opposite.

Exactly. The point is that by acting in accord with the local morality, one propogates it to the other people around you. And you propogate it within yourself.

Your thesis is that people in the inclusive sense, always appeals out of reflex to some higher moral standard (a Universal Morality) which stands above the local variety.  I would disagree that it is commonly exercised.  It might happen when some event causes one to reflect on the veracity or truth of how one ought to behave in that circumstance.

I sat behind a man at a meeting. He interrupted the speaker at times. I absent-mindedly and softly tapped the back of his chair repeatedly.

He turned to me and with real indignation told me that it wasnt right for me to tap the chair he was sitting in.

The man did not give it a thought. it was a reflex. Even though he acted towards the speaker with interruptions, he appealed to a higher standard of behaviour than his own when he turned to me.

Whenever people say, “That isnt fair!” they are appealing to a standard over and against the local morality.

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By Leefeller, April 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

When one says they did not mean what they said, this is the second time I have read words of meaning, not meant to be?  My predetermined lassitude may have faulted and helped me avoid the caricatures as such, for I have a mental bias, discounting the concept of Universal Morals.

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By OzarkMichael, April 21, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Leefeller: but when they run from the cats, it becomes more like a phobia and not a moral issue at all? Some people will run from rattle snakes and spiders, not quite the tenants or concept of a moral definition.

It is meant to be a caricature of ‘fleeing’ from sin. But it is a caricature. I do not mean that the Cat is issue is a real one or in itself meant to be taken seriously. It is unimportant and value neutral.

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By Shenonymous, April 20, 2009 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

1 of 2 To reply again to OzarkMicheal,
It will take some space and time here.  I will try to address what I think are the salient issues as much as possible. 

Shenonymous: The weight resides in the common people, not a common person, the aggregate not individuals.

Yes, in the statistical calculation of local morality the action of one individual is not likely to mean much. I like your word ‘aggregate’ and it is perfect. It is not only not likely, it does not mean much as the society will take care of violators with the laws that they generated from their belief generated morality.  There are degrees of punishment for degrees of infractions of a society’s code of ethics.

Allow me to give a twist to my story. Imagine the same ‘cat law’, the same ethical teaching, but now imagine that the common people never touch cats. Each time a cat comes near them they run from it.

This too creates and builds morality.   A neat invention.  Except morality is a code of conduct that is driven by a sense of right and wrong.  The fact that the people would run away from the reviled cats does not break laws nor any code of conduct.  Just the opposite.  Morality is not at issue.  But let us do attempt to talk of morality in a “universal sense.”  In this standardized sense, morality refers to an ideal code of conduct, one which would be connected in preference to alternatives by all rational people, under specified conditions.  The clue here to the standard (ideal) is “specified conditions.”  This would be a prescriptive sense, which would be in contention with the descriptive sense that means the code of conduct that is created by the society.  A third meaning of morality brings in the theoretical questions about how moral results can brought about, how societies ought to determine their codes of ethics, what morals people actually respect (which addresses one of your points but which is only one of a myriad of questions that builds an ethic), and of great importance, what is the underlying inherent features of a morality, or ethics, which would necessarily include whether there is any objective justification and if there is any moral psychology involved.  The answers to the ‘philosophical’ sense is what in the final analysis determines the evolution of morality at the local level.
More than laws and words.  Yes, this is a process which is aggregate and collective. I am not at this time discussing the deeper significance of an individual, I am only looking at the evolution of local morality. So Shenonymous is right either way.

But let us never lose sight of the individual, whether acting with or against the local morality of the day, who thereby contributes to the local morality. That individial is you. And me. It would be difficult to lose sight of myself as an individual acting and behaving within a closed system of a society and to know and understand the morals of that society.  In that sense I contribute to the spirit of the morality (to whatever degree it conforms to a Universal Morality).
My statement: Everyone knows there is something higher and more substantial than the particulars.

Shenonymous replies: They may think they know, but knowing is different from thinking something is a certain way.  And that generalizing to the “Everyone” is a lame way of surrounding yourself within the crowd.  Ah, safety in numbers strategy.

No. I actually have the opinion. I wasn’t resorting to a knavish trick. I will take you at your word.

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By Shenonymous, April 20, 2009 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2 Reply to OM Cont.
People appeal to some higher moral standard over and against local morality almost reflexively.  Again, however, I have to go to your language and consider “almost” reflexively.  That does not compute.  Reflexive means acting or reacting without conscious thought.  It either is or is not, not almost.  The almost functions as an equivocation.  Your thesis is that people in the inclusive sense, always appeals out of reflex to some higher moral standard (a Universal Morality) which stands above the local variety.  I would disagree that it is commonly exercised.  It might happen when some event causes one to reflect on the veracity or truth of how one ought to behave in that circumstance.  Conflict of conscience can and does happen.  But then a difference is peceived about the level of rightness that causes the conflict.  How an individual’s conscience evolves to make distinctions of right and wrong actions is debatable: there are religious views of conscience, and secular views, as well as philosophical views. 

But very well, lets put a finer point on it. I say instead that you, Shenonymous, know it.

You know there is something more substantial than the local morality. I would not say I know there is a Universal Morality unless you would agree that it is a paradigm as I have said before.  I would agree that there is some objective model and objective justification to behave a certain way.  Beliefs of inherent rights and interest in the health of a society are the guides for such a Universal Morality.  There may or may not be a correct definition of right behavior, this is a question still up for grabs by ethicists and has been for thousands of years. 

My statements that you are a type of Christian is meant as a compliment. This is a figment since you do not define what you mean by “a type of Christian.”  By defintion of the word Christian, means to embrace the notion of Christ.  In that sense you assume too much.  If by Christian you mean an ethical life, that is different.  I do seek an ethical life.  Why?  I believe humans are worthy creatures.  Creatures that have a unique thing called a mind.  I believe each human is born with the right to live yet must learn self-reliance.  This is a complex acquisition of learning and food for discussion another time.
To all atheists here it is also a warning… be careful of handling truth too honestly the way Shenonymous does, you might end up a Christian.  This is a benign warning and ambiguous.  You use words a bit too loosely.
That would be a disaster for a smart person, which every atheist considers themselves to be. Non-atheists considers themselves to be smart too.  Take yourself for instance.

How would you explain it to all your friends, who will immediately assume you just aren’t as smart as they thought you were? Again, I am teasing mostly.  Your tease has a bite and hence deceptive.  As a Christian, I would watch that if I were you,  mainly because you are not just likely to be wrong, you are wrong.  Atheists never worry what genuine friends will think. 

The only problem is if i am prying into something that you dont want to talk about.  This seems to be something obscure and known only to yourself.  Try to be explicit and I will tell you if it is prying or not.  Since you know me, in a manner of speaking, you know I do not shy from anything.

In which case I will apologize, Shenonymous. It isn’t necessary.

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By Leefeller, April 20, 2009 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

For some reason, the cat analogy does not fit the concept of morals, I had trouble with it before when it was used as a way for people being told what to accept and told it is moral, but when they run from the cats, it becomes more like a phobia and not a moral issue at all? Some people will run from rattle snakes and spiders, not quite the tenants or concept of a moral definition.

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By OzarkMichael, April 20, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous: The weight resides in the common people, not a common person, the aggregate not individuals.

Yes, in the statistical calculation of local morality the action of one individual is not likely to mean much. I like your word ‘aggregate’ and it is perfect.

Allow me to give a twist to my story. Imagine the same ‘cat law’, the same ethical teaching, but now imagine that the common people never touch cats. Each time a cat comes near them they run from it.

This too creates and builds morality. More than laws and words.  Yes, this is a process which is aggregate and collective. I am not at this time discussing the deeper significance of an individual, I am only looking at the evolution of local morality. So Shenonymous is right either way.


But let us never lose sight of the individual, whether acting with or against the local morality of the day, who thereby contributes to the local morality. That individial is you. And me.

My statement: Everyone knows there is something higher and more substantial than the particulars.

Shenonymous replies: They may think they know, but knowing is different from thinking something is a certain way.  And that generalizing to the “Everyone” is a lame way of surrounding yourself within the crowd.  Ah, safety in numbers strategy.

No. I actually have the opinion. I wasn’t resorting to a knavish trick.  People appeal to some higher moral standard over and against local morality almost reflexively.

But very well, lets put a finer point on it. I say instead that you, Shenonymous, know it. You know there is something more substantial than the local morality. You always hope to learn more, you strive to keep your own moral code and actions in tune with ‘Universal Morality’(call it something else though). The process is ongoing. You will never say ‘it is finished’. That is my impression of what you are like. It is a good impression.

You always try to intuit my mind, ah yes, in advance of my thinking.  Your attempt to push thoughts into it.

Hmmmm. ya i do. there is no question that i guess what you are thinking and try to influence it. i just did it today. But you are very strong so i dont think it will harm you. i have said that i like to argue with the weakest opponent but what i love better is to argue with the strongest.

My statements that you are a type of Christian is meant as a compliment. It is also playful teasing. To all atheists here it is also a warning… be careful of handling truth too honestly the way Shenonymous does, you might end up a Christian. That would be a disaster for a smart person, which every atheist considers themselves to be. How would you explain it to all your friends, who will immediately assume you just arent as smart as they thought you were? Again, I am teasing mostly.

The only problem is if i am prying into something that you dont want to talk about. In which case I will apologize, Shenonymous.

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By Shenonymous, April 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

1 of 2 Response to OzarkMichael
Locally there are several factors which contribute to morality. Belief informs morality. In other words morality is generated from beliefs.  No doubt.  Law is a teacher of morality.  Morality informs laws, which in turn preaches morality.  Discussions of morality (which I call ethics) is a fine process which might have some effect. But what impacts morality much more is what people actually do. Allow me to illustrate:

If we imagine a place where the religion provided the ancient illumination ‘dont touch cats’, and furthermore there is a law against touching cats, (and if ethicist scholars and professors have intellectual discussions which explain what an excellent moral precept it is to keep away from cats… but meanwhile every day common people pick up cats, take them home and pet them) then we have to admit that the action of the common person has far greater wieght in determining morality than all the laws, religions, and philosophy put together. Problem is that the common people are the ones who generate the morality from their beliefs.  Ethics scholars and educators of ethics only consider the nature of the morality and teach whether communities ought to reconsider their moral codes, they do not create it.  So the illustration is off the mark.  The weight resides in the common people, not a common person, the aggregate not individuals.
One also would imagine that in time the law and the ethics is going to change to reflect the real morality of the people.  The real morality of the people exists as simultaneously with their living behaviors.  It describes their behaviors.

This is the contribution of every person to local morality, and it is far greater than the words of professors or preachers or policemen or politicians. Yes in a diagrammatic kind of way, but again, it is the collective of contributions that decides what that morality is for that society.

Yet in my definition the constant changes in local morality does not change the Universal Morality.  Seems if there is such a thing as Universal Morality, it cannot change, by definition it must remain constant, as a yardstick by necessity must remain an assembly of three feet (and we have yet to say what it consists of, what constitutes Universal Morality, so one cannot say anything about whether a “local” morality is a measure of this fiction called Universal Morality until one knows if one hits the target or not).
In a way I agree with Night Gaunt. I do not think we are so exceptional in our thoughts and actions that our local morality is THE Universal Morality.  Was there someone who was making that mistake?

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By Shenonymous, April 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2 Response to OzarkMichael
Leefeller: Concept of universal morality seems to fall short unless one lives in the perspective of Plato’s Cave.

Well said. The local moralities are the particular shadows on the wall that we can see. The tied prisoners in the cave believe they know the way people ought to behave to one another.  They are chained to their beliefs.  Not even able to look at each other.  Only one who apprehends a reality beyond the cave rises to the occasion of seeking the really real.  But the allegory shows it is a struggle to find that higher ideal.  The reason for that struggle is that it is a mistake to think it is the real.  It is the model, and functions only as a model.  No one can ever grab it, they can only use it as a measure.  And if they come close they can bask in the ‘sunlight’ of it.  The local moralities are the ‘real’ ones for that society for that society decides what is moral for its health.  Everyone knows there is something higher and more substantial than the particulars. They may think they know, but knowing is different from thinking something is a certain way.  And that generalizing to the “Everyone” is a lame way of surrounding yourself within the crowd.  Ah, safety in numbers strategy.  But not everyone may “know” as you think.  Something we all measure against without knowing exactly what it is. Without some inkling it is useless to try to measure one’s morality to a ghost of an idea.  The paradigmatic Universal Morality must be given some definition or it is pathetically purposeless.

An odious name like ‘Universal’ Morality serves to warn you of what you are dealing with. The concept of ideals, such as “Universal” Morality, are fictions and purposely odious to cause one to pause and think.  However, very few indeed to stop at their every interaction with others to consider if they were behaving in a Universally Moral way.  For instance, do you? Now be honest.  I did not give it a lesser name because I do not want to decieve.  That is silly.  Euphemisms just makes everyone nod unthinkingly. Perhaps, if the euphemism is playing into their egos.  I would rather call something by a name that awakens the intellect. A commendable rather.

But call it what you will. Or come at it another way. That is what Shenonymous will attempt. You always try to intuit my mind, ah yes, in advance of my thinking.  Your attempt to push thoughts into it. In advance of her attempt I want to say that I admire her effort and am certain it will be worthy of consideration. We shall see if you tell the truth.

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By OzarkMichael, April 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller: Concept of universal morality seems to fall short unless one lives in the perspective of Platos Cave.

Well said. The local moralities are the particular shadows on the wall that we can see. Everyone knows there is something higher and more substantial than the particulars. Something we all measure against without knowing exactly what it is.

An odious name like ‘Universal’ Morality serves to warn you of what you are dealing with. I did not give it a lesser name because I do not want to decieve. Euphemisms just makes everyone nod unthinkingly.  I would rather call something by a name that awakens the intellect. 

But call it what you will. Or come at it another way. That is what Shenonymous will attempt. In advance of her attempt I want to say that I admire her effort and am certain it will be worthy of consideration.

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By Leefeller, April 20, 2009 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Universal, implies absolutism a weak link in any theory.  If the cat analogy is followed in one area not in another, how can one say this is universal?

Again, one would need to define morals then agree to agree on what those morals would be, applied or suggested morals to be followed and enforced universally is improbable, for is the absolutism of Universal meaning locally or all encompassing of the world and the Universe?

Concept of universal morality seems to fall short unless one lives in the perspective of Platos Cave.

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By OzarkMichael, April 20, 2009 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous said to Night-Gaunt: Once we end this idea of one group is exceptional in all ways from anyone else, i. e. imperialist thinking, we shall be better off.  Concisely said and correct in my view.

On the other hand, the day that a person, nation, or culture no longer sees itself as exceptional… that is the day when anything exceptional about them has been disavowed and dissolved by doubt. Which i think has happened to some degree in Europe and is starting to happen in the USA. Whether we shall be better off for it remains to be seen.


I would like to defend my thesis of Universal Morality. One contested point was whether the actions of people contribute to the evolution of local morality.

Locally there are several factors which contribute to morality. Belief informs morality. Law is a teacher of morality. Discussions of morality (which I call ethics) is a fine process which might have some effect. But what impacts morality much more is what people actually do. Allow me to illustrate:

If we imagine a place where the religion provided the ancient illumination ‘dont touch cats’, and furthermore there is a law against touching cats, and if ethicist scholars and professors have intellectual discussions which explain what an excellent moral precept it is to keep away from cats… but meanwhile every day common people pick up cats, take them home and pet them, then we have to admit that the action of the common person has far greater wieght in determining morality than all the laws, religions, and philosophy put together.

One also would imagine that in time the law and the ethics is going to change to reflect the real morality of the people.

This is the contribution of every person to local morality, and it is far greater than the words of professors or preachers or policemen or politicians.

Yet in my definition the contant changes in local morality does not change the Universal Morality.

In a way I agree with Night Gaunt. I do not think we are so exceptional in our thoughts and actions that our local morality is THE Universal Morality.

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By cyrena, April 19, 2009 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous,
“Hey, is anyone else experiencing weird time indications on the comments they post here on TD?  For instance, it is the morning on April 19, 2009, but my comment says 2:01 pm!  Very very odd.  I’ve sent a question to the TD webmaster about it but no response.  I’m taking a private poll.”

Well, I thought I had unsubscribed to this list, but there are 6 notifications as I finally got to my email today, and so I thought I’d check it out, if only in response to this query, since I experienced a similar observation a few months back. (can’t remember when).

I didn’t write to anyone at TD about it, and so my explanation for this is strictly my own and nothing more than a semi-educated guess. And, my guess is that at some point in time, (I don’t know when) TD may have switched servers in order to speed things up (from a technology standpoint) and to handle additional traffic and reporting on the site.  The server can be located ANYWHERE, as we now understand about technology that we didn’t use back when a lot of us were indoctrinated to a different way of accomplishing various communications.

So my guess is that the server is located elsewhere, and programmed based on what ‘appears’ to be Central Standard Time,  (they could program it to some other version to GMT if they wanted to but my guess is that they use the standard format based on what looks like CST in the US)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwich_Mean_Time

even though the corporate/publishing location may be in Santa Monica, which is the same impression that I had, in terms of the physical location of the business.

Matter of fact, this general concept came up just last week when I was trying to find a way to update basic utility services for a woman to whom I provide caregiver services. I needed to find whatever the lowest rates are for basic services that apply to her and her particular circumstances. (I highly recommend that folks do that whenever you can get around to it, because there have been some structural changes to services and prices based on various needs and income levels.)

Anyway, I was working up a budget with her daughter, who lives somewhere else, and noticed that she seemed to spend an awful lot of money on her TV/Entertainment service provider. (she doesn’t use the internet at all,  because she’s never learned how.) I mean, to ME it seemed like a lot, compared to her other utilities, especially after I checked on line with her service provider, which is Direct TV. (and a lot of people around here use DirectTV, because the only channel available for free is ABC, and to see anything else, one must subscribe to at least the basic package from the local Cox Cable Co. (and even the basic package is just under $50.00 a month now.) So, I assumed that DirectTV must be cheaper, (I’ve only had cable service once in my life, back in the late 80’s in Texas, and decided it was definitely a waste of my money.)But then I’m the type that’s always been able to live without a TV, and I often have..especially when I was still working. I didn’t want to hear more ‘noise’ or ‘drama’ at home, because I had more than my fair share working in and around huge airports most of my life.

Anyway, I know I got sort of sidetracked there…my client does enjoy the TV, and so it wasn’t a matter of eliminating or even changing the level of service that she currently receives, but I’d seen the same services (I thought) advertised at much less expensive rates than she’s been paying, especially since they just increased that by $6.00 a month. In the process of trying to find something that would be what she mostly watches, (because she’s got shit she never even watches) but at a cheaper price, I discovered that DirectTV doesn’t even HAVE a physical location where you can go in to talk to someone, or obtain the necessary equipment that is required to use their service. Everything is done by phone or internet.

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By cyrena, April 19, 2009 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2

Apparently they send out an installer for the initial set-up,  (that ugly looking dish thing that it’s taken me a while to get used to…I think they should design them to fit in with the local landscaping a bit better) and they have someplace from where they issue bills.  But if you need new equipment or whatever, you have to purchase that yourself at whatever store might sell them. So my point is that their physical address doesn’t exist, and they don’t really need one to provide the services that they provide. I suppose the installers have to be dispatched from somewhere, but that’s probably contracted out as well, depending on the location.

Anyway, I know you didn’t ask for all of this extra stuff in wondering about what seemed to be some weird things going on with the timing on the TD posts, but it seemed to sort of come with the territory. Just another example of how so much has changed, based on the technology and the ways that we communicate these days.

In my observations of our social demographics these days, (casual and professional observations) that ‘change over’ is what has added to a certain component of personal and/or collective confusion. Some people adapt at different levels and at different times, and it’s on-going. Some dig in, (individually or collectively) and refuse to adapt at all. My friend here thinks we should just stay in the 60’s forever. It has certainly given me my own fair share of new discoveries…like on a daily basis.

The TD thing with the time is something I noticed a while back, but I honestly can’t pinpoint when. Sometimes the past year seems like a blur. Maybe it’s some sort of Socio-Political Stress Syndrome. I’m guessing that’s when they upgraded and/or expanded their system, and that might account for the differences.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 19, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

“I am the Duke of Earl”
“I am going to make you rock”
“I am going to make you roll”

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By Shenonymous, April 19, 2009 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

dux is Latin for ‘leader’, a duke, and bellorum is translated as ‘to wage war’ or to do battle.  So dux bellorum means leader of battles from the time of King Arthur, British leader of battles.  Originally taken from the Romano-British culture of Britons open to the influence to the Roman culture after the Romans left British shores.

By extension, leaders of war, if we can interpret Night-Gaunt correctly. And if following the model of the historically previous Romans, the dux were able to act as independent agents from the government.  I think that is a bit of a melodramatic description. 

Seems to me there are leaders who are finally making steps toward peace without armed conflict.  The steps are baby steps I submit, nevertheless at least meaningful talk is being made when prior only lip service was given, or not at all.  Obama is making advancement with Cuba, and Hugo Chavez has a high horse with a little bit shorter legs and will start having talks with the Obama administration (regime, if you insist).  Things take time, and political things take a longer time

It takes one step, then another one, then another one.  Seems also that is a reasonable way to proceed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K2xY4J2ir0&NR=1
Behold the Imperial Rise, and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xkd3F4g-Bgg&feature=PlayList&p=4BD309E1B3BA89DF&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=21
Dux Bellourm
By Obsidian Gate
I am the bringer of war, herald of bloodshed and anguish.
I am the slaughterking of Satan, sovereign of the arts of battle

I am the one who made the rivers become streams of blood.
I am the usurper of all earthly thrones.

I am the one who turns light into darkness
by the burning smoke of thousand burning temples.
I am the duke of war!

and when you don’t want war, you may obtain it!

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