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War of the Whales


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Posted on Jun 8, 2009
Mr. Fish

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By Chris Hedges

Did they play Barack Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in the prison corridors of Abu Ghraib, Bagram air base, Guantanamo or the dozens of secret sites where we hold thousands of Muslims around the world? Did it echo off the walls of the crowded morgues filled with the mutilated bodies of the Muslim dead in Baghdad or Kabul? Was it broadcast from the tops of minarets in the villages and towns decimated by U.S. iron fragmentation bombs? Was it heard in the squalid refugee camps of Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians live in the world’s largest ghetto?

What do words of peace and cooperation mean from us when we torture—yes, we still torture—only Muslims? What do these words mean when we sanction Israel’s brutal air assaults on Lebanon and Gaza, assaults that demolished thousands of homes and left hundreds dead and injured? How does it look for Obama to call for democracy and human rights from Egypt, where we lavishly fund and support the despotic regime of Hosni Mubarak, one of the longest-reigning dictators in the Middle East?

We may thrill to Obama’s rhetoric, but very few of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are as deluded. They grasp that nothing so far has changed for Muslims in the Middle East under the Obama administration. The wars of occupation go on or have been expanded. Israel continues to flout international law, gobbling up more Palestinian land and carrying out egregious war crimes in Gaza. Calcified, repressive regimes in countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia are feted in Washington as allies.

The speech at Cairo University, which usually has trucks filled with riot police outside the university gates and a heavy security presence on campus to control the student body, is an example of the facade. Student political groups, as everyone who joined in the standing ovation for the president knew, are prohibited. Faculty deans are chosen by the administration, rather than elected by professors, “as a way to combat Islamist influence on campus,” according to the U.S. State Department’s latest human rights report. And, as The Washington Post pointed out,  students who use the Internet “as an outlet for their political or social views are on notice: One Cairo University student blogger was jailed for two months last summer for ‘public agitation,’ and another was kicked out of university housing for criticizing the government.”

The expanding imperial projects and tightening screws of repression lurch forward under Obama. We are not trying to end terror or promote democracy. We are ensuring that our corporate state has a steady supply of the cheap oil to which it is addicted. And the scarcer oil becomes, the more aggressive we become. This is the game playing out in the Muslim world.

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The Bush White House openly tortured. The Obama White House tortures and pretends not to. Obama may have banned waterboarding, but as Luke Mitchell points out in next month’s issue of Harper’s magazine, torture, including isolation, sleep and sensory deprivation and force-feeding, continues to be used to break detainees. The president has promised to close Guantanamo, where only 1 percent of the prisoners held offshore by the United States are kept. And the Obama administration has sought to obscure the fate and condition of thousands of Muslims held in black holes around the globe. As Mitchell notes, the Obama White House “has sought to prevent detainees at Bagram prison in Afghanistan from gaining access to courts where they may reveal the circumstances of their imprisonment. It has sought to continue the practice of rendering prisoners to unknown and unknowable locations outside the United States, and sought to keep secret many (though not all) of the records regarding our treatment of those detainees.”

Muslim rage is stoked because we station tens of thousands of American troops on Muslim soil, occupy two Muslim nations, make possible the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, support repressive Arab regimes and torture thousands of Muslims in offshore penal colonies where prisoners are stripped of their rights. We now have 22 times as many military personnel in the Muslim world as were deployed during the crusades in the 12th century. The rage comes because we have constructed massive military bases, some the size of small cities, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait, and established basing rights in the Gulf states of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The rage comes because we have expanded our military empire into neighboring Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It comes because we station troops and special forces in Egypt, Algeria and Yemen. And this vast network of bases and military outposts looks suspiciously permanent.

The Muslim world fears, correctly, that we intend to dominate Middle East oil supplies and any Caspian Sea oil infrastructure. And it is interested not in our protestations of good will but in the elemental right of justice and freedom from foreign occupation. We would react, should the situation be reversed, no differently.

The brutal reality of expanding foreign occupation and harsher and harsher forms of control are the tinder of Islamic fundamentalism, insurgences and terrorism. We can blame the violence on a clash of civilizations. We can naively tell ourselves we are envied for our freedoms. We can point to the Koran. But these are fantasies that divert us from facing the central dispute between us and the Muslim world, from facing our own responsibility for the virus of chaos and violence spreading throughout the Middle East. We can have peace when we shut down our bases, stay the hand of the Israelis to create a Palestinian state, and go home, or we can have long, costly and ultimately futile regional war. We cannot have both.

Obama, whose embrace of American imperialism is as naive and destructive as that of George W. Bush, is the newest brand used to peddle the poison of permanent war. We may not see it. But those who bury the dead do.


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By colin2626262, June 29, 2009 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, if you want to know my personal faith you’ll have to buy my book when it comes out.  Just kidding.  Really, it’s very simple.  You can find it in the Gospel:

“Have faith in God.”
    —Mark 11:22

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By Night-Gaunt, June 23, 2009 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

Sorry Colin2626262 to me you have that darkness in your mind’s eye. Blinded to the reality and lost to yourself. I certainly want no harm to come to anyone as a person and human. For I am a humanist. Secular but still a humanist. “Soul” may or may not exist, it is immaterial to what we live in in this case. I have done my research of all of the mythologies thus still accepted as fact. One thing you will find about many like myself is that we read a great deal. I think a great deal as well. Illumination to me is good. The concepts of the Illuminati of Bavaria (1776-1789) I could agree with and so could some of our own country’s founders. Something that is alien to our time and presidents. Including Obama and I think you too. Some of the other German enlightened who moved here to found towns run in a way I think was closer to some of the ideals of this country’s founding that were finally ignored or changed by Federalism and later fascism. Like separation of church and state.

You still failed to answer my direct query on some of your belief system that would have illuminated me, and others, on your world view. It must be too personal for you to do so. I didn’t mean to pry. I am not attacking you on it. At least that was not my intent. You show me yours and I show you mine in how I view the world. It isn’t dark.

I understand Inherit The Wind’s point-of-view but it isn’t viable or desired. We are outnumbered and too many automatically move to that kind of thinking. [To me it is evolution at work, in this case concerning the organizing factor for survival.]
But like any trait it could become a detriment when the environment changes and we could all die off because of it. I just hope humanity can evolve away from it as a dominate factor in the future.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 22, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

colin2626262, June 22 at 10:42 pm #

I don’t respond to nonsense.
***********************************

Sure you do.  And you generate far more than you respond to.  If you pray for me, try to do so with a generous heart, not your usual vindictive one.  I think if God answers prayers, he answers all of them with a big, fat, “No!”

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By colin2626262, June 22, 2009 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

You do have a soul, but you said you don’t believe in God, so you don’t live for your soul.  Haven’t you heard of the divine spark?  That’s the soul.  God is in the soul.  But if you deny God, you deny your soul.  You deny yourself.  So I pray for you.  I wish you well, yes.  That means I hope you find God and stop living in darkness.  Otherwise, you’ll be dead, meaning separated from God.

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By colin2626262, June 22, 2009 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

I don’t respond to nonsense.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 22, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Butter doesn’t melt in your mouth Colin2626262. To you I am soulless. How about the other definition of “soul?” Thanx for that compliment. I may not react properly but I do care. I do try. Also thanx for not responding to my point-by-point queries of you provocative statement. Something I predicted and yet again came true. Spineless and hollow. You say “be well” but you don’t mean it. Butter stays cold on your tongue.

I wonder if Brunn started this way?

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By colin2626262, June 22, 2009 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

A soul just means you have feelings, and you have love for God.  I hope I didn’t offend anyone by that.  I wish you well.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 18, 2009 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

“The reason I can’t talk to you is that you don’t want to listen.”colin2626262

Well I must say you are a character. I ask questions, you refuse because I won’t “listen” to you. What you mean is being persuaded by you. 

“Atheists hate God so much that they hate everything a believer in God has to say.”

I don’t hate God* anymore than the Easter Bunny or the Flying Spagettie Monster. It would be irrational and pointless. Since the only real difference is how we look at the world I would say we have much in common. Tell me, does it also work against Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Janists etc? [*Hint, this isn’t a name, it actually means to call a deity to ones self.]

“I don’t think you’re inferior, and I couldn’t convert you even if I wanted to.  You have to convert yourself.”

Really and where in your Bible does it say that? Actually the mandate is for you to convert me. Which is one of the problems I have with it. A relentless need to convert all around you. Of course you think me inferior because I don’t have that empty spot you think I have in need of being filled by a deity. No matter what I do in this life it won’t be enough. I have no need of it. To me it is like the fifth wheel on a vehicle. Superfluous.

“Your soul is your life, but you don’t live for God, so you’re not even alive.  I pray for you.  I wish we could be friends, but we can’t, unless you change.”

First you need to define what you mean by “soul” in this context and how it is necessary to have a life. I am sorry you are so prejudiced against me. Unlike you, I would be interested in you as a person, not as a notch on you belt of conversions. I have no interest in converting you. It isn’t possible and I won’t bother. So it seems I am more open than you. Perhaps if you spent more time as a human being instead of a Child of JHVH it might work out for us. At least on this semi-personal level of communication.

I respect you as a person. You of course have no reason to speak to me again if you don’t want to. I will respect that unless there is something you say I think needs correcting or explaining. Feel free.

Now to the subject at hand—-the USA under Obama isn’t much different from under Bush/Cheney despite what Fark News says. But then Obama is the company man for the fascist cabal angling us for a fall. [Think Shock Doctrine turned against us by them to get their way, home grown.]

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By ardee, June 17, 2009 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

While I do not always agree with what some here post, I do respect the intelligence behind those posts, if not the conclusions.

So, as a respecter of many posters here I would ask in a respectful fashion as to why on earth you encourage this religious nutjob preacher who thinks nothing of hijacking a political thread and turning into a superstitious rant about some mythic guy who lives in the sky, loves us all but will doom us to eternal flames in an instant if we don’t send him money, which he apparently needs all the time. ( with thanks to George Carlin)

So, about the (insert anything political).

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By Inherit The Wind, June 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Colin:

You have it backwards: Without men and women believing, God is nothing.

Have fun with your invisible friend.  I wish you well as long as you don’t try to shove you dogmatic fantasies down MY throat, our laws, and, more importantly, into the curriculum my kids are taught.

I don’t want them being taught that Adam and Eve were really how mankind came to be.

I don’t want them taught the Flintstones instead of paleontology.

I don’t want them taught the Earth is less than 7,000 years old.

I don’t want them taught that they live in an irrational universe where events can be altered by begging a capricious deity.

Consider this: If we live in a rational universe, even if there IS a God who knows everything and planned everything to perfection, then prayer is meaningless.

If prayer IS meaningful and God answers all prayers (with anything other than “NO!”) then He is not perfect and all-knowing—and the Universe He created is totally irrational.

It can only be one way or the other.  You choose the irrational model. I choose the rational.

But, as long as you don’t mess with me and mine, I don’t begrudge your choice.

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By colin2626262, June 17, 2009 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

The reason I can’t talk to you is that you don’t want to listen.  Atheists hate God so much that they hate everything a believer in God has to say.  I don’t think you’re inferior, and I couldn’t convert you even if I wanted to.  You have to convert yourself.  Your soul is your life, but you don’t live for God, so you’re not even alive.  I pray for you.  I wish we could be friends, but we can’t, unless you change.

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By colin2626262, June 17, 2009 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt,

The reason I can’t talk to you is that you don’t want to listen.  Atheists hate God so much that they hate everything a beliver in God has to say.  I don’t think you’re inferior, and I couldn’t convert you even if I wanted to.  You have to convert yourself.  Your soul is your life, but you don’t live for God, so you’re not even alive.  I pray for you.  I wish we could be friends, but we can’t, unless you change.

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By colin2626262, June 17, 2009 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

NightGaunt, you’re an atheist.  I have nothing to say to you.  I hope you find faith in God, who loves you.  That’s all.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 17, 2009 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

Colin2626262, do you consider the rest of us not in your particular belief system to be inferior? Cursed? Hollow? Not-men and women? Are souls more important than the living being? Do you respect us? Would you suppress us if you had the chance? Send us to be converted? Do you believe that animals will talk, an eagle in Revelations? How old is the earth? Do you think science means anything? Is a democratic-republic mentioned as a viable political system in the Bible? (No to that last one.)

How you answer determines how you treat others and what you consider as ‘real people’ and what happens to them accordingly. One wonders from Obama‘s actions bespeak to the above questions.

I am against the idea that all who have some kind of ‘spiritual’ or ‘occult’ based belief systems which includes all religion as “bad, stupid, moronic…” This line of thought is not productive and can produce strife and anger. Not good for us on this crowded mud ball spaceship of ours. Humans are too eager for violence anyway. The increased economic, climate, resource stresses will do it every time.

Though I am an athiest, technically I am an agnostic only because I am not omniscient.

As for those who want the atomistic nihilist road then read Dmitry Orlov‘s 5 phases of civilization collapse. Ace, you want to live in little paranoid hamlets isn’t healthy for our civilization as it is. Read his work at http://www.cluborlov.com/ about it. I think the Dominionists will make their final move at #3. They won’t be leaving this place finally securing after 75+ years in the making.

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By colin2626262, June 17, 2009 at 2:03 am Link to this comment

I have to admit this whole discussion made me laugh, especially when I reread my own comments directed at Inherit the Wind.  We are all nothing without God.  That was my point.  I guess it was taken as a personal insult or words of “bigotry,” but really it’s just a fact of existence.  Without God, you’re nothing.  Atheists do have feelings—they just don’t have good feelings, so their feelings don’t really count.  They have feelings of anger especially, which you can see on display below.  God help them.

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By tahitifp, June 16, 2009 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

We are all *something*, connected to one another thru acts of love and kindness and compassion.  Even if we’re only connected thru molecular structure or energy patterns, we’re still connected; and that means that hurting others hurts ourselves. We’ve all experienced what a downer it is to be around negative gloomy unhappy people; and how happy lively people buoys us up.  Yes, we’re definitely connected and we impact one another.

We don’t all have to believe the same things in order to raise the consciousness of ourselves and therefore humanity, but we do have to practice tolerance and kindness.

For instance, I have come around to being able to genuinely like some repubs!  grin

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By Night-Gaunt, June 16, 2009 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Religion facilitates whoever you really are. For those who need an excuse to do “God’s Will” in the world.

God’s Will-your will as interpreted by you to do to or for others by means of a symbol as an impetus.

I am one of those who don’t need such symbols or psychological excuses to do good or ill. I want to aid my fellow human. The best way to live in this world.

One’s belief, philosophy or religion is only as good as the person who puts it into practice. Such belief systems can also aid in how good or bad you may be. There are those who resist the more violent aspects of their chosen religion and are good despite their Holy Writ. They are the ones we need in charge of the world.

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By elisalouisa, June 16, 2009 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

ITW
On a percentage basis, I have known more Agnostics and Atheists who go out and do for their fellow men and women because it’s the RIGHT thing to do than EVER I saw Christians, or Jews or Moslems do.

colin2626262
Of course, if you have no faith in God, if you’re an atheist or agnostic, you also have no feelings.  So your life is nothing.  I’m not saying that to be harsh.  I’d like your life to be something.  Right now, however, it isn’t.  You’re just a nothing.


                      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

colin, we are all trying to find our way as best we can. Organized religion does not determine the moral fiber of a person. You give yourself away when you say that ITW is “nothing.” Is that what your brand of Christianity is? No one is “nothing”,  especially on this website where we all(hopefully all) are looking for ways to bring about a more equitable distribution of the better things in life and also eliminate poverty.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 16, 2009 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

Colin:

You are so full of hateful bigotry I can’t believe I’m responding.

How DARE you say I have no feelings, no emotions, and no morality because I refuse to join in your sick fantasy of pretending to have an all-knowing all-powerful invisible friend.

On a percentage basis, I have known more Agnostics and Atheists who go out and do for their fellow men and women because it’s the RIGHT thing to do than EVER I saw Christians, or Jews or Moslems do.

I saw my father face his death with a grace and peace most people of faith who think they are going to heaven WISH they had, and Dad believed when he died he’d be dead and nothing more.  I saw him ALWAYS do the right thing, even when it was painful, while the “faithful” lied, cheated, stole.

I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell. I don’t need Pie in the Sky or Divine Retribution to keep me on the path of doing what is Right—which is nothing more than bribes and threats.  I do it because it is the inevitable consequence of existence and to continue
that existence.

Rather than emphasize Jesus’ message of love, tolerance and forgiveness, Christians like you focus not on life but on DEATH—and look for Heaven as a bribe for doing right, and Hell as a punishment for doing wrong.

Tell me, Colin: If you KNEW there was no Heaven or Hell, would you then just do whatever you felt like: Kill, rape, steal, cheat on your spouse, etc, etc?  Or would you, could you CONTINUE to live a life of decency and moral rightness?

I know I can—I do it every day.  My heart fills with joy as I see my children grow as thoughtful, responsible caring people.

No feeling?  Right now what I’m feeling is outrage at your bigoted, biased, arrogant STUPIDITY!

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By colin2626262, June 16, 2009 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

Inhereit The Wind,

You completely misunderstood what I was saying about the will of God.  I was saying that human beings have not created God, but you think I didn’t understand what I was saying.  You think I accept that human beings created God and that therefore there cannot be a separate will of God for human beings to follow.  I believe God created human beings, which is what all sane people believe.  I wasn’t trying to talk down to you.  The person I was writing to wasn’t upset about what I said, only you were and that other person, Folktruther, whose comments are so ridiculous as to be unworthy of a response.

I understand you, Inherit the Wind (why not use a real person’s name?)  You’re a very rational person.  You have no interest in what you can’t see with your eyes.  You’re very intelligent, I’m sure.  However, there’s nothing in your life worth living for, if you have no faith.  Your life is nothing without some kind of faith in God.  I don’t say you have to be a Christian.  You said you were Jewish.  If don’t like Christianity, then explore Judaism, or do what I’ve done, go on your own personal quest for evidence of God.  You see, religious evidence isn’t like finding scientific evidence.  Religious evidence is based on your own personal experience of the divine in your life, and a lot of it has to do with your feelings.  Of course, if you have no faith in God, if you’re an atheist or agnostic, you also have no feelings.  So your life is nothing.  I’m not saying that to be harsh.  I’d like your life to be something.  Right now, however, it isn’t.  You’re just a nothing.  But I care about people like you, because I used to be like you, and I hope and pray that you find God, who is your friend, even if you don’t know it.  Someday you will. 

When your life is over, and you have to account for everything you said and done, you’re going to have to start caring about your soul, even though you don’t believe you have a soul right now because there’s no empirical, or rational, evidence for it. 

Why be a hateful unbeliever with no feelings and nothing to live for?  You can be a good person, a loving, kind, happy person who knows his or her purpose in life.  I wish you well.  I mean that.  I don’t hate secular people.  I just would like them to know the truth.

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By tahitifp, June 15, 2009 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

ITW

Just my little stab at understated humor.  But thanks for the reference. grin

Carry on…...

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By Inherit The Wind, June 15, 2009 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

{i]tahitifp, June 15 at 10:29 pm #

ITW

You’re so nuanced, I can’t tell how you feel about all this.
*********************************************

Huh???? You sound like Mr. Collins, the ultimate Boring Man, proposing to Lizzie in “Pride and Prejudice”!

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By tahitifp, June 15, 2009 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

ITW

You’re so nuanced, I can’t tell how you feel about all this.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 15, 2009 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

tahitifp, June 15 at 1:55 pm #

Oh my! I take it you don’t believe in intuition or ESP either.
****************************************

ESP? Pure crap. Intuition? Depends on your definition.  It seems to come in 2 “flavors”.  One is supernatural—more crap. The other is simply your subconscious mind attacking the problem and deriving the answer for you. 

I know a man who can solve major statistical issues in his sleep.  LITERALLY in his sleep.  He simply dumps a problem onto his subconscious mind and works on another one.  He keeps multiple blackboards in his head and his conscious or subconscious mind can work on any of them.  He is simply a genius. A true genius who is rarely, RARELY wrong in his work.  THAT kind of intuition I believe in—where the subconscious mind can attack a problem and extrapolate from little information.

****************************************
I saw a huge bulletin board along a freeway that said, “Six months of study, gut feeling…..same answer.

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By tahitifp, June 15, 2009 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

Oh my! I take it you don’t believe in intuition or ESP either.

I saw a huge bulletin board along a freeway that said, “Six months of study, gut feeling…..same answer.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 15, 2009 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

“Has it occurred to you that we are all spiritual, having sometimes rather dubious physical experiences?”

Nope. It never has. I’m grounded in reality and observation.

“Also wouldn’t it be wise to define spiritual and natural?”

I have.  One is nonsense, the other is reality.

“Do you think the 5 senses we have are the only things we’ve got going?  “

Actually, six.  Balance is a sense.  What WE have is the ability to rationally analyze what we observe and to develop tools that that act as observers for us (Like the speedometer in your car or the barometer in a weather station—of a volt meter).

Pretending we have other powers by which we obtain information makes for pretty fairy tales.  If we don’t have a sense for something going on, we can build a tool to sense it for us. If we cannot build the tool, then either we haven’t figured out how YET, or that “something” is nothing. 

We have infrared and x-ray eyes, RF detectors, spectral analyzers, etc.  We can even detect neutrinos though billions pass through us each second.

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By tahitifp, June 14, 2009 at 9:32 pm Link to this comment

ITW

FT, you twit: I’m talking about the “spiritual” people who think they see and feel things “beyond” the natural world.  Not the spirituality of being part of a community, a family, or a volleyball team.
*****************

  Has it occurred to you that we are all spiritual, having sometimes rather dubious physical experiences?  Also wouldn’t it be wise to define spiritual and natural?  Do you think the 5 senses we have are the only things we’ve got going? 

IMO, being spiritual is nothing special since I think basically we’re all spiritual.  Nor do spiritual people need to be touchy/feely, FT. grin

Here’s a quote from one of my favorite authors:
**********************


  Quantum healing is healing the bodymind from a quantum level. That means from a level which is not manifest at a sensory level. Our bodies ultimately are fields of information, intelligence and energy. Quantum healing involves a shift in the fields of energy information, so as to bring about a correction in an idea that has gone wrong. So quantum healing involves healing one mode of consciousness, mind, to bring about changes in another mode of consciousness, body.
—Deepak Chopra

and another quote”

  “You are the luminous mystery in which the entire universe with its forms and phenomena arises and subsides. When this realization dawns there is a complete transformation of your personal self into your universal self . . . the complete loss of all fear, including death. You have become a being who radiates love the same way the sun radiates light.”
  ? Deepak Chopra
http://www.chopra.com/

He says it so much better than I can.  grin

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By Inherit The Wind, June 14, 2009 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, June 14 at 10:57 pm #

You are wrong, Inherit, about spirituality, as you are about so much else.  I don’t happen to be much of a touchy-feely person myself but many, if not most, people are, and theory is there to serve the people.  Spiritual-emotional- ethetic ideology moves people, and those of us who want social change need to move people to get it.

Unfortunately, the spiritual ideologies of earthpeople have been hijacked historically by power structures to legitmate oppressive power, the religous ideologies stressing obedience to Divine and earthly power.  But in the 20th century godless religous have been developing that are devoid of the traditional transcendental powerbull and anti-people values, and point the way to a humane and reasonable spirituality in the future.

This might be very strange to us.  The pagans, for example, or possibly the Wiccans, I can never remember which, have priests who are empowered by the state to marry people, and they marry more than two people at a time too each other. I often wonder how that works out, but not enough to find out.  Can those marriages be saved?  Possibly different sexual mores will be combined with religion again, as was common in the past, which could change the very basis of culture.

A spiritual-esthetic ideology is necessary to enforce the morality necessary for people to live together, but both present spirtuality and morality sucks.  But so does Scientific Rationality as well.  As soon as people need not compete rapaciously for survial, which, if we survive, shouldn’t take more than a couple of centuries, spiitual-moral-esthetic ideology may well assume a centrual place in our consciousness.

Granted, the people of New Jursey are a special case.

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

“I must get me to a typewriter and hammer out the story of an Atheist…who believes in God”—‘E.K. Hornbeck’ character (from “Inherit The Wind”)

FT, you twit: I’m talking about the “spiritual” people who think they see and feel things “beyond” the natural world.  Not the spirituality of being part of a community, a family, or a volleyball team.

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By Folktruther, June 14, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment

You are wrong, Inherit, about spirituality, as you are about so much else.  I don’t happen to be much of a touchy-feely person myself but many, if not most, people are, and theory is there to serve the people.  Spiritual-emotional- ethetic ideology moves people, and those of us who want social change need to move people to get it.

Unfortunately, the spiritual ideologies of earthpeople have been hijacked historically by power structures to legitmate oppressive power, the religous ideologies stressing obedience to Divine and earthly power.  But in the 20th century godless religous have been developing that are devoid of the traditional transcendental powerbull and anti-people values, and point the way to a humane and reasonable spirituality in the future.

This might be very strange to us.  The pagans, for example, or possibly the Wiccans, I can never remember which, have priests who are empowered by the state to marry people, and they marry more than two people at a time too each other. I often wonder how that works out, but not enough to find out.  Can those marriages be saved?  Possibly different sexual mores will be combined with religion again, as was common in the past, which could change the very basis of culture.

A spiritual-esthetic ideology is necessary to enforce the morality necessary for people to live together, but both present spirtuality and morality sucks.  But so does Scientific Rationality as well.  As soon as people need not compete rapaciously for survial, which, if we survive, shouldn’t take more than a couple of centuries, spiitual-moral-esthetic ideology may well assume a centrual place in our consciousness.

Granted, the people of New Jursey are a special case.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

I can see that our two twains will not meet on this. grin You POV is strictly left-brain reductionist, and while that has some validity, it is not complete in one’s search for truth.  You’re saying there is only one side to the coin.  Good luck if you ever need to flip it.  grin
************************

No need to worry. This is not a problem or concern for me.  I can live with it.

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By tahitifp, June 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

ITW

BTW, “spirituality” means nothing to me. It seems to be an excuse by people for being illogical and irrational, seeking to gain knowledge without studying and to control events without acting.”

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I can see that our two twains will not meet on this. grin  You POV is strictly left-brain reductionist, and while that has some validity, it is not complete in one’s search for truth.  You’re saying there is only one side to the coin.  Good luck if you ever need to flip it.  grin

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By Inherit The Wind, June 14, 2009 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

BTW, “spirituality” means nothing to me. It seems to be an excuse by people for being illogical and irrational, seeking to gain knowledge without studying and to control events without acting.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 14, 2009 at 5:47 am Link to this comment

Tahiti:

This is silly.  Equating scientific insight and genius with supernatural events makes no sense. It has nothing to do with leaps of faith.

Yeah, I’m waiting to see how TM affects the chemical mechanisms of breast cancer, the disruption to DNA in cells.  Unless TM causes release of chemicals that fight the cancer (which is possible—adrenaline is released as part of an emotional response) it will prove to be ineffective.

Simple logic.

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By tahitifp, June 13, 2009 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

ITW

You keep talking about scientific studies.  What about spirituality or the *science* of it?

As we speak,  there is a 10 year clinical trial studying the effects of transcendental meditation on breast cancer patients.

I’m a TM meditator and know the effects when I meditate regularly and when I get too busy.  The results are startling.

So…there’s no way to measure that except that brain waves have been measured and other criteria used to *see* the effects of meditation.  All we know is that it works, but no one knows exactly why.

Again I’ll maintain that it will be the dawn of a new Enlightenment when science and spirituality finally share the stage and become, at the very least, engaged.  This has nothing to do with religion.

I agree that scientific study is valuable; Do you think that knowledge gained thru spiritual practice is valid? Do you believe in leaps of faith?  Einstein (and many people) had them.  Where does that intuitive knowledge or knowing come from?  It’s certainly not measureable scientifically.  How do you account for the AHA moment? Where does that gut feeling come from?

Solid matter is mostly empty space.  That should give us pause, long pause.  We need to ask the right questions and a physics professor friend of mine said, “There are only a few right questions.”

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By Inherit The Wind, June 13, 2009 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

I knew something awful was in the air—FT and I have been agreeing about all kinds of stuff.

Acupuncture can be subjected to clinical trials and compared and contrasted to other treatments.  Therefore it’s on a different page of the book, along with drugs that work but that the biochemists haven’t figured out how.

(Heck, we still don’t really know how plants convert water, sun and CO2 into sugar).

There’s a difference between things that can be shown to work under scientific conditions, and believing BS.  Houdini was the BEST spirit medium of his time, better than all the rest, able to do far more amazing and convincing things—and could sell them.  Only Harry ALWAYS insisted it was just a trick based on his skill and genius, not supernatural: he just wouldn’t say how he did it—it was a trick!

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By tahitifp, June 13, 2009 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

Hey, I did my good deed for the day and brought you two into agreement about something.

OK, I won’t let anyone do psychic surgery on me!  Not that I had the intention. grin

I still recommend reading Pearce.

I hope you don’t think all yogis and gurus are quacks.  Åctually, I think Gandhi may have qualified as both.

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By Folktruther, June 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Inherit, incredibly, is right, Tahiti, aboutthat body surgery being a scam.  It is practiced widely in the Phillipines as well.

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By tahitifp, June 13, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

ITW

“You gotta be more skeptical—some crook will always use your gulability to empty your wallet”
****************

LOL.  When it comes to politics and religion, no one is more skeptical. 

Gullibility ... you mean like the people who didn’t object to Summers and Geitner .. or even Obama for that matter?  Or the people who give any pol money?  No, I’m not gullible, nor do charlatans rip me off.

I would suggest, however, that you entertain the notion that left-brained reductionist thinking is not all there is.

Many great people of accomplishment have been called charlatans…..Tesla is a good example; so is Rife.  It is in the interest of big pharma and insurance companies to debunk anything and anyone who cut into their profits.

There are still many people who think acupuncture and naturopathy are a hoax.  I’m here and alive to tell you they are not!

I prefer to keep an open mind rather than succumb to hardening of the attitudes.
Not that you have succumbed. grin

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By Inherit The Wind, June 13, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

I have a friend who has received and witnessed psychic surgery; where the hand disappears into the body at the point where the body is ill.  And afterward, the person is healed.  I think it’s Indonesia where psychic surgery is most widely practiced.

Is that magic?
*********************************************

No, what it is is a well-known and well-debunked slight-of-hand scam.  The “body parts” are from chickens or other beasts and the “Psychic Doctor” makes it look like he’s pulling it out of the body, just like a stage magician can make a full deck of cards appear in his hand out of nowhere.

Of course, the stage magician never pretends it is a miracle but that it is “magic”—a science and art form that NEVER violates natural law but appears to.  THAT is the wonder of a stage magician and why NONE of those charlatans ever achieve the status of a Houdini or an “Amazing Randy” both of who could (and Randy still can) do ALL those miracles better than the phonies.

I suggest you check back a few years on PBS—I don’t remember if it was Nova or Frontline that unmasked it for the charlatanry it is.

You gotta be more skeptical—some crook will always use your gulability to empty your wallet—and “Psychic Doctors” are no different than the 3 Card Monte crooks on the streets of New York. (Psst—that’s a scam too, usually with some shills to help).

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By tahitifp, June 13, 2009 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, June 13 at 8:37 am #

Gee, Tahiti, I was with you up till that last paragraph where you endorse magic as being in line with science…..smoke and mirrors.

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

I have a friend who has received and witnessed psychic surgery; where the hand disappears into the body at the point where the body is ill.  And afterward, the person is healed.  I think it’s Indonesia where psychic surgery is most widely practiced.

Is that magic?

I have an Asian acupuncturist who puts needles into my body and the pain is gone.  Is that magic?

IMO, magic is the art of fooling s/o into thinking he/she is seeing something that is not, and does not involve physical healing.  It’s entertainment.  Psychic healing is just that, a true healing, and there is a rise of people who can heal at the level of energy…energy healers, healing at the quantum level.  Google Matrix Energy for more fascinating info on that.

Many wondrous things are happening in the world. I saw an adventure movie starring a man and his two children.  The whole them was about “Believing is Seeing” which tips upside down what we learn as children and which I’ve eschewed many time.  So my previous post about Sai Baba is about creating thru *believing is seeing* or *thinking is creating (and seeing) It all starts in the mind, like a great painting or novel.

I think there are many roads to truth; science is one, meditation another (which has nothing to do with religion).  And it seems often that we *see* what we expect or want to see.  Since we’re all atoms and mostly empty space, why not the possibility that some humans may have discovered the way of re-arranging them to create the desired outcome?  That indeed would be the true marriage of science and spiritually…or the Unified Theory.

I think the Mind is a whole lot more powerful than we know.  It’s not just around to practice left-brain thinking. grin And we don’t use much of it, do we?  What’s the other 90% supposed to do?

That’s the question.  Joseph Chilton Pearce has some answers to that.

 


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

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By Inherit The Wind, June 13, 2009 at 5:37 am Link to this comment

Gee, Tahiti, I was with you up till that last paragraph where you endorse magic as being in line with science…..smoke and mirrors.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 13, 2009 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, June 12 at 6:11 pm #

By colin2626262, June 12 at 9:50 am #

It is what you believe in which defines you.

Agnostics are not atheists, just in case.

I had to scratch my head after reading your posts as you talk in absolutisms with you in the drivers seat and that makes me wary.  I am always wary of experts on god and the hereafter as no one really knows and the speculation offered is no better than that offered by a used car dealer.

Some men write scripture and some men write laws but it is natural law which will rule them both.
**********************************************

Amazingly, for once you and I are completely in agreement.  I find the multiple definitions of Atheist by themselves to be confusing so I prefer this more linear definition of my own:

Atheists believe there is no God, Agnostics do not believe there is a God.

IOW, Atheists (particularly devout Marxists) accept ON FAITH that there is no God.

Agnostics deny the concept of faith.

I KNOW that there are many Atheists who are far more sophisticated in their thinking and are much, much closer to MY definition of Agnosticism, abrogating faith. I’m OK with that.

I also know that many view Agnostics as sitting on the fence and being wishy-washy, covering their bets and their butts with a whiny “Gee, I just don’t know…”  but I don’t see it that way.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 13, 2009 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

KDelphi, June 12 at 5:17 pm #

ITW—thanks, but, I figured it out and posted a reply, however, I have to disagree—i think that Warren and Bill should just stop money laundering and pay their fricking taxes and fight for social programs that protect human rights, rather than charity…but thats just me..amd I am beginning to think that it really is—just me! But, there is a Socialist Conf in Chicago June 18-21—Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, Laura Flanders, Dave Zinn- and others—I think that that puts me in in good company…if anyone is interested…
http://www.socialismconference.org/

It Wont Put Bolsheviks in Anyone’s Bathroom (lol)
http://www.neatorama.com/2008/10/05/cold-war-ads/

thebeerdr—you shouldve said it, but, I know what you mean…
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KD, we are not really in disagreement—I just think that as rich exploiting capitalists, Warren and Bill are less disgusting and more concerned with helping through their philanthropy.
I don’t even WANT to get it to how Bill’s MS has loused so much up, how he violated basic op-sys principles going all the way back to DOS and that is why EVERY machine running Windows WILL crash sooner or later.  But that’s for another thread…..
(And I’ve never forgiven him for driving WordPerfect into the ground so we all have to use his vastly inferior Word).

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By thebeerdoctor, June 13, 2009 at 3:05 am Link to this comment

Yes KDelphi I should have told him what I really thought. But of course that would have probably done him not one bit of good. The keyword is “belief” here, which has nothing to do with logic or even scientific evidence. That is why the Creation Museum, located across the Ohio river in northern Kentucky, expects the viewer to believe in a Flintstone vision of history, which when you come to think of it, was part and parcel of the King’s Island entertainment experience over the years, located just north of Cincinnati, where Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters became a reliable base for many amusement park rides. Hell, if you believe that man and the T-Rex co-existed together on this planet, why not a talking dog like Scooby Doo?

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By tahitifp, June 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Miracles:

Years ago, I read a little book called, “Mr. God, this is Anna.”  In it the author says that even a rather basic knowledge of science, put into practice, would enable one to walk thru walls…something many would call a miracle, but it really has to do with molecules and atoms and electrons and the space between, and that we and the wall are both mostly empty space.  Quantum physics and string theory teach us a lot about illusion, matter and space/time….the uncertainty principle is fascinating ...( especially when applied to things like on-line dating.  grin

I consider it a *miracle* that the body knows how to do all it does in perfect synchrony.  If left alone by the ego, it even heals itself. 

So what is a miracle? I’m sitting here looking at my freshly cut roses from the garden.  WOW!
And how is it that you all can read what I’m typing?  WOW!

As far as healing the blind and coming and going out of thin air and healing the dying, I think the advanced yogis have been doing that for centuries. Sai Baba was reputed to have been able to materialize things out of thin air.  They’ve learned how to manage energy and information and have let go of ego and have suspended all beliefs.  Yogis get it their way; scientists, theirs.

Perhaps one could say that miracles are the apprehension and application of the Truth.  grin

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By PatrickHenry, June 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

By colin2626262, June 12 at 9:50 am #

It is what you believe in which defines you. 

Agnostics are not atheists, just in case. 

I had to scratch my head after reading your posts as you talk in absolutisms with you in the drivers seat and that makes me wary.  I am always wary of experts on god and the hereafter as no one really knows and the speculation offered is no better than that offered by a used car dealer.

Some men write scripture and some men write laws but it is natural law which will rule them both.

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By KDelphi, June 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

ITW—thanks, but, I figured it out and posted a reply, however, I have to disagree—i think that Warren and Bill should just stop money laundering and pay their fricking taxes and fight for social programs that protect human rights, rather than charity…but thats just me..amd I am beginning to think that it really is—just me! But, there is a Socialist Conf in Chicago June 18-21—Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, Laura Flanders, Dave Zinn- and others—I think that that puts me in in good company…if anyone is interested…
http://www.socialismconference.org/

It Wont Put Bolsheviks in Anyone’s Bathroom (lol)
http://www.neatorama.com/2008/10/05/cold-war-ads/

thebeerdr—you shouldve said it, but, I know what you mean…

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By Inherit The Wind, June 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, June 12 at 2:56 pm #

Colon 666, you are obviously the Spawn of Satan.  I reflexively read what’s set in front of me, even if it’s the back of a cornflakes box, and I was forced to read that worthless swill you used to delude cretins.

Repent!  Repent, Colih, before its Too Late! Soon enough you will stand before the Trith’s White Throne of Judgememt and a Loving and Benevolent God will throuw your sorry ass into the Great Lake of Fire, to torture you with hideous suffering for all Eternity.  And it will be all your own fault.

But,otherwise, keep up the good work. Have a nice day.
********************************************

AHA!  I didn’t realize his handle was colin2-6-2-6-2-6-2!

Clearly you spotted it, you old reprobate, FT.

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By Folktruther, June 12, 2009 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Colon 666, you are obviously the Spawn of Satan.  I reflexively read what’s set in front of me, even if it’s the back of a cornflakes box, and I was forced to read that worthless swill you used to delude cretins.

Repent!  Repent, Colih, before its Too Late! Soon enough you will stand before the Trith’s White Throne of Judgememt and a Loving and Benevolent God will throuw your sorry ass into the Great Lake of Fire, to torture you with hideous suffering for all Eternity.  And it will be all your own fault.

But,otherwise, keep up the good work. Have a nice day.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 12, 2009 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa, June 12 at 9:06 am #


Who knows the equation of miracles? Certainly it is not within our realm to understand. There are powers which we can touch and yet not comprehend. Just because one has not experienced such events or inner communion with the suchness of life is no reason to deny their exist.


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

I don’t accept that there is ANYTHING in the universe that is not within an intelligent mind’s power to comprehend.

Did you not read what I wrote about “miracles”, that THEY DON’T EXIST!

Arthur C. Clarke once said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Of course he meant for the primitive person—primitive compared to the technology…..

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By tahitifp, June 12, 2009 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

colin:

I don’t say “it’s God’s will.”  Other people do.

I’m well- acquainted with hardcore Christianity, no thank you very much.

I was born right the first time and I am not afflicted with original sin, therefore there’s no need to *correct* me.

Jesus was a great prophet, like Buddha and Confuscius and Irving the milkman.  grin

There is nothing outside of us.  We do the creating with energy and information. 

Deepak Chopra is a good example of truthiness.

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By thebeerdoctor, June 12, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

re: Inherit The Wind

Your comments about religiously fervent belief is quite accurate. I was recently having a conversation with a devout Muslim, a kind and courteous man, who nevertheless adheres to the punishing god concept, and he found it difficult that I did not agree. Do the wicked really get punished? The vengeful God concept seems to suit so many followers of the Big 3 desert God religions. The rabbi speaks of the all seeing eyes of God. The iman much the same. Even Christianity, with its “new” testament, that is suppose to be about love and forgiveness; well how many reverends out there who just skip over all of that, and immediately go to that magician’s cave known as the Book of Revelation, with its lake of fire, blood of the lamb and its cosmic war with the beast with two backs.
I said nothing to my Muslim friend. But what I should have said, would have went something like this:
You know why are you religious types concerned with your eternal soul, and you do not have the decency to just leave it there, you need others to agree with your crazy belief system. You worship the invisible and expect others who actually use their functioning rational brain, to be swept up into your deadly serious fairy tale. It is no wonder that astronomy is deemed a threat to religion. No wonder that any cosmologist from Carl Sagan on down, could see the ridiculousness of such irrationality. But you know religion with all its misogyny and theological justification for senseless violence, can not escape the one inevitable fact that our existence on this earth is temporary. No one gets out of here alive. So instead of worrying about what happens after the end of existence, why not trying to improve the living condition instead. But I know, your bloody ego is so involved that you can’t take the late George Harrison’s advice, where “you see are really very small and life flows on within you and without you”. You religious folks just can not be happy with simply being alive, so you invent an ultimate drama queen that you call God. That God, that you claim has ultimate dominion over everything, must be in charge of the Black Holes discovered in deep space. Those Collapsars, if physics are correct, reveal that the weakest force in the universe, namely gravity, has the final say via accumulation, so that in the end, not even the speed of light can escape its gravitational pull.
That might seem disquieting to you worshipers of invisible Gods, but for myself, I find this very comforting.

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By elisalouisa, June 12, 2009 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

Is it true that most wars are religious wars?

Recent comments on this site confirm that this is so, for we are fighting our own religious war, not too different from the one two thousand years ago.

Who knows the equation of miracles? Certainly it is not within our realm to understand. There are powers which we can touch and yet not comprehend. Just because one has not experienced such events or inner communion with the suchness of life is no reason to deny their exist.

The real issue is: Middle America has no influence. Our jobs have been taken away. The factories are gone, cheap labor has been effectively imported, good health care is a mirage. Our elected representatives respond to Wall Street money not the voters who have no power. Wall street is not for the American worker for this is not where the money can be made. How do we reverse this tide directing our country into an abyss?

.

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By elisalouisa, June 12, 2009 at 6:05 am Link to this comment

Is it true that most wars are religious wars?

Recent comments on this site confirm that this is so, for we are fighting our own religious war, not too different from the one two thousand years ago.

Who knows the equation of miracles? Certainly it is not within our realm to understand. There are powers which we can touch and yet not comprehend. Just because one has not experienced such events or inner communion with the suchness of life is no reason to deny that they exist.

The real issue is: Middle America has no influence. Our jobs have been taken away. The factories are gone, cheap labor has been effectively imported, good health care is a mirage. Our elected representatives respond to Wall Street money not the voters who have no power. Wall street is not for the American worker for this is not where the money can be made. How do we reverse this tide directing our country into an abyss?

.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 12, 2009 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

Thanks Colin for instructing us as if we were all ignorant morons in the fundamental principles of Christianity, that we all can’t avoid.

As an Agnostic and an ethnic Jew, I have had your Christian theology shoved down my throat in more ways than you can imagine for 54 years.  It’s impossible to grow up in this country and NOT know the fables and myths about Jesus.  After all more than 90% of Americans are still nominally Christians.

Neither I nor anybody else here at TruthDig need you to repeat it as if you were instructing six-year olds in Sunday school some place in the rural mid-West where the school boards force science teachers to teach “Creation Science” and “Intelligent Design” as if it was real science and not theology.

I expect even members of “The Contingent” will agree with me on this, when they break from castigating me.

Your logic on the Will of God being separate from the Will of the man who created it shows you don’t understand your own argument.

Since man created gods and your variant called “God” then anything and everything ATTRIBUTED to the “Will of God” is, of course, nothing more than the will of men and women (mostly men) as a political hammerlock to FORCE other people to do those men’s will.

I have never seen a “miracle” and expect never to see one.  Even facetiously describing the ‘69 Mets and the 1980 US Men’s Hockey Team as miracles doesn’t change that.

Since BY DEFINITION a miracle is a violation of the natural laws of the universe, a miracle would mean that the universe isn’t governed by natural law but, instead, by the capriciousness of a deity.  While there is far more that we DON’T know about the universe than there is that we do, we continuously find that as we advance our knowledge, inevitably what we didn’t know STILL follows natural law.

If something appears to be miraculous but turns out to simply reveal a new natural law, then it wasn’t a miracle.

If something appears to be miraculous but cannot be explained by natural law, why would you think it’s anything more than a puzzle of that natural law that we simply haven’t yet solved? Why give up searching and just assume it’s a miracle?  Some pretty amazing things can occur under natural law.

Carl Sagan in his “The Demon Haunted World” makes the following argument (from Wikipedia because I’m too lazy to type the quote):

“As an example, Sagan relates the story of the invisible fire-breathing dragon living in his garage. He asks, ‘what’s the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there’s no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true.’”

Sagan also notes that one object could simply melt through a wall and appear elsewhere—the odds of it happening in the next ten quadrillion years are near zero BUT NOT ZERO!  The science exists to explain such a phenomenon—it would not be a “miracle”

Therefore, there can be NO miracles, and, by extension, no proof of the existence of God.

Hence my agnosticism.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 12, 2009 at 4:26 am Link to this comment

KDelphi, June 12 at 2:59 am #

ardee—who are “Warren and Bill”??
**************************************

I’ll have to go back and check the context but I’d automatically assume that “Warren and Bill” in the same sentence means Warren Buffet and Bill Gates—the two richest men in the world (other than royals like the King of Saudi Arabia who could claim EVERY fungable asset in the Kingdon was his).  They are also rather liberal in their philanthropies, both in the financial and political sense of the word.

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By ardee, June 12, 2009 at 3:30 am Link to this comment

Virginia777, June 12 at 2:51 am #

to ardee:

“How many more wars, deaths of innocents, torture disguised, injustices continuing, treasuries looted, homes foreclosed, health care canceled or refused will bring your attention to the obvious?”

Did you leave something out Ardee? how about California’s crises, maybe you can pin that on Obama as well.

Its illogical to blame the entire nation’s problems, problems inherited from the Bush administration, on Obama, a president who has been in office for less than one year.

Sorry, but thats what your over-generalizing Obama-bashing amounts to.
......................

Are you, I wonder, being purposely obtuse? Or are you just unable to process data and derive reliable conclusions? Barack Obama is our President, thus the man most responsible for the plans and projects that move this nation forward ( are you following so far?).

The only place that folks are blaming Obama for the current economic crisis, or for starting the war for profit in the Middle East, is in your own mind apparently. The blame he deserves, in my opinion, is for the solutions he offers and the plans he pushes forward. I trust this is not too complicated for you.

Might I suggest that you read, understand and think prior to inserting foot in mouth in future.

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By johannes, June 12, 2009 at 3:04 am Link to this comment

Our old Christian beleef is as good as Boedisme, wash it not for all the nuts an spinners who are bending and transforming it in their direction of thinking, and using it to make an impression on stupid people.

As wash our old way of living, wath do we have to accept evey day, for the simple of mind its very confusing, they start to drink and panic, they don’t see the end of the tunnel.

Young people are growing up with war, and they will die with it, or maby in it, how can you geth a normal human, with other interests, like a famelie, education, and for all other things love for your fellow humans.

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By colin2626262, June 12, 2009 at 2:50 am Link to this comment

tahitifp,

You wrote about your views on the God of the Christians and the God of Abraham, and yet you also say that you think humans have invented God.  If humans invented God, then how can you speak of God as having a will?  You wrote, “maybe it’s simply the will of God.”  If I have a will, and I use that will to create God in my own image, I can’t possibly say that God has a will, which is what you said.  Basically, you just admitted that there is a God, because you can’t create God with your will and then say God has a will, since God’s will would be your own will, and there would be no will of God to speak of if there were only a God you created in your image.  Yet there is an image of God, which you admit to when you speak of God’s will, and this will exists independently of your will, meaning there is a God; God exists.

As for your other comments, I don’t know what to say other than you don’t seem to be a religious person.  You write, “Many Christian faiths still teach their flocks to love a god that *punishes* them when they’re *bad.*”  This is something in which you clearly have no experience.  Of course Christianity teaches us to love God, and of course it also teaches us that God is good and not evil.  So of course God does not love those who are “bad,” unless, that is, they ask for forgiveness and believe in God.  That is the whole teaching of the Christian faith: God “so loved the world” that He sent His Son into the world, and if we believe in Him, we shall become sons of God and have eternal life.  You say you’re more interested in Buddhism than Christianity, which is fine.  But you first should understand what Christianity is, before you pass judgment on it.  When you say you think “the Christian god, like the religions that sprang from Åbraham, is capricious at best, and unjust and merciless at worst,” you betray your ignorance.

First, the “Christian God” is no different from the Abrahamic God.  After all, Jesus was a Jew who believed fully in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Jesus was a different kind of teacher, however.  His most important message was a message of love.  In fact, he said that God, his Father, had told him that there was only one commandment, a new commandment—namely, that we should all love one another.  Now, do you think that teaching came from a “capricious,” “unjust,” or “merciless” person?  Was Jesus a hateful, meaningless person?  I’m sure you will agree that he wasn’t.  You put such an emphasis on the connection between humanity and their conception of God, so I would think you must also admit that the “Christian God” is somehow within this loving man named Jesus.  Let’s take your view and say Jesus created this Heavenly Father.  Well, wouldn’t that loving Father, who cares so deeply for his children, have to first exist before someone could think of Him as existing?

Think of a picture.  If you draw a mountain, let’s say, you first have to know what a mountain is, or what it looks like, before you can draw it.  The same must be true for those who believe in God, and for those also who have yet to find belief.  God exists within you, and all you have to do is “ask” for the reality of God to appear for you, “and you shall receieve.”

I’m happy to know that you listen closely to people who speak of God’s will.  Your will seems pretty close to discovering the One who willed that you should live and be loved and never die.

All the best.

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By tahitifp, June 12, 2009 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

long in the truth

Whereas you use id,ego and super-ego, (are you a therapist?), I used to talk about the PAC, parent, adult child. (I’m not a therapist) grin

These days I refer frequently to the spiritual schizophrenia that appears prevalent in individuals, groups, churches, governments and even whole countries - maybe especially whole countries.

Many Christian faiths still teach their flocks to love a god that *punishes* them when they’re *bad.* Or even worse, to punish for no apparent reason; or maybe it’s simply the will of god.  The Christian god, like the religions that sprang from Åbraham, is capricious at best, and unjust and merciless at worst.  It seems to possess all the traits of humanity, due to what I believe is the fact that humans have invented god in their own wonderful/terrible images. (Emperor Constantine comes to mind).

What causes even more schizophrenia is the belief in Heaven and its wonders and joys and *happy days are here again,* while still fearing death with such depth that one is willing to continue to vote for people who kill innocent Beings in foreign lands - just to keep the illusion of physical safety intact.  No wonder addictions run rampant.  I should think that if people truly believed in Heaven, they would be committing suicide by the millions, just to escape their mortal coils and to unite with the Being of their choice.

I listen closely to people who proclaim “it’s god’s will.”  Often what they’re really saying is, “it’s god’s fault.”

As for me, I tend toward Buddhism, and experience heaven and hell right here and right now in my own mortal coil.  grin I believe in a higher truth/power/isness and believe love is god.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.  grin

Thank you again for being here. And I like your *handle.*

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By KDelphi, June 12, 2009 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

arde—I know who you mean—I had to think.

What we fundamentally disagreed about was whether charity was good for people. I dont think that it is. Charity is an excuse not to implement policies that provide for the basic social good. There are either basic human rights or there are not.

Charity is unreliable, and cannot possibly provide for basic human rights. It infantalizes people. And, no, I dont believe that they do it for the good of the people. I just dont believe that any one person can “earn” that much money. There is nothing a person can do to deserve that much , nor need that much. It is immoral to me. Even the idea of people that rich is Capitalist.

If they cared about “the common good” they would not use tax loopholes when we are in a Depression and “at war”. (when are we NOT “at war”, though..?)

I agree that I disagree with you on that one. I was trying to agree with you on something, but, to no avail..

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By KDelphi, June 11, 2009 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment

ardee—who are “Warren and Bill”??

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By Virginia777, June 11, 2009 at 11:51 pm Link to this comment

to ardee:

“How many more wars, deaths of innocents, torture disguised, injustices continuing, treasuries looted, homes foreclosed, health care canceled or refused will bring your attention to the obvious?”

Did you leave something out Ardee? how about California’s crises, maybe you can pin that on Obama as well.

Its illogical to blame the entire nation’s problems, problems inherited from the Bush administration, on Obama, a president who has been in office for less than one year.

Sorry, but thats what your over-generalizing Obama-bashing amounts to.

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By long in the truth, June 11, 2009 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

Tahitifp:

This is the first post I have ever made. I come to truthdig regularly just to read Chris Hedges. But today after reading Chris’ article, I happened upon the 1862 article and was struck by how little human behavior has changed, both with respect to our capacity to hate one another as well as our capacity to be appalled by and speak out against hate we’ve witnessed. The cycle continues not because we haven’t learned to be good people, or because only some are good, but because our collective Id has an unchecked temper tantrum when faced with the gnawing terror that its existence is ephemeral and possibly void of meaning. Our un-evolved ego has yet to adapt to the idea that love of others is as equally important to our survival as love of our selves. And so, this ego remains ill equipped as the organized and realistic intervening medium between the tantrum-throwing Id and the moralizing super-ego. Failing to buffet the forces of fear and condemnation, it gets driven mad and finally succumbs to the never ending battle over false symbols of meaning.

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By tahitifp, June 11, 2009 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

long in the truth:

Thank you for your permission and I hope you keep posting here.

Is there anywhere else you post that you would care to share?

I’ve been posting elsewhere about the American fear of death and how people will do anything to create the illusion that they are immortal physically.  To hold a firm and at times rabid belief in the *wondrous and joyous* hereafter while striving so hard to stay alive in the here and now, even to the extent of giving up freedom for the illusion of security and safety, seems to me an odd contradiction.

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By long in the truth, June 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

tahitifp:

Please feel free to post my entire comment (with or without my handle) anywhere and everywhere. And thank you for reading and commenting on it.

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By ardee, June 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, June 11 at 3:04 pm #


ardee—-we do agree on so many things, as you said on another thread.

Why cant we agree on the basic issue that Capitalism is the problem? I dont know how people can miss the gorilla in the living room…
...........

Where on earth did you get the idea that I am an advocate of capitalism? My ideal Eden would be a place wherein socialism mixes with regulated free enterprise, the former taking care of the first duty of government, the welfare of all the people, and the latter providing a way for people to be creative in business and technologies.

Oh, was it the way I defended what I saw as the truth of the benevolence of Warren and Bill? I am a careful man, I research and ponder..I also make errors, some egregious, but I still believe Buffet to be a charitable guy who gives vast sums, not to benefit himself ( he needs nothing more) but to benefit his fellow Americans.
........................

Folktruther, June 11 at 2:40 pm #

Ardee, you are quite right, Obama is a front for postmodern fascism.  Virgina is very nice but, I’m afrad, a descendant of that Virgina that believed in Santy Claus.  I retract 82% of what I thought about you.  You’re just wonderful.
...........................

hee, Can I use you as a reference?

.......................


micosaudad, June 10 at 5:57 pm #

Yeah ardee, I agree. Russian Paul’s comment was quite good.
..............edit….......
Who are the real hold ups against single payer? Obama?  Obama has made the political calculation that it won’t be passed.  If we (collectively) apply enough pressure on the groups fighting it, then we’re more likely to give Obama the room to get a better outcome.  What politician wouldn’t *love* to be able to say he went above and beyond his campaign promises?

In this instance, Obama shouldn’t be the focus of our effort, and in any case our effort shouldn’t be derogatory or spiteful.

The same goes with foreign policy.  Who are the real hold ups against reforming how we handle detainees?  Who had conniption fits when Obama suggested transferring some of them to supermax?  There should be intelligent pressure on those groups.
......................

I do enjoy reading your thoughtful posts , even though I disagree with much of your conclusions.

You claim we should not be critical of our leader, but he is ,after all, our leader and his decisions are of critical importance. I think it more precise to believe we should be critical of Obama and the health care industry that relishes profit over actual health care.

I further believe that Obama seeks a middle ground, and is trying to be all things to all people. This is an impossibility frankly and leads to being nothing to anyone. Just as his foreign policy is still a war based solution when it should be obvious that war exacerbates rather than alleviates problems. Those to whom he panders make much profit from war and thus he and they should be roundly criticized.

Perhaps Barack Obama is a good man at heart, I think the image of that family in the White House is a great symbol of the basic nobility of our people, but he took the office knowing full well that he was in line for a shit storm, and so far he deserves such.

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By tahitifp, June 11, 2009 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Long in the Truth:

What a powerful post, thank you.  Will you give me permission to post it somewhere else, with or w/o your *handle?*

It’s one of the finest and most poignant anti-war posts I’ve read.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

There are some people who need to read this.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, June 11 at 2:40 pm #

Inherit, Night-Gaunt, none of that stuff works on my computer.  And, inherit, how did you learn that stuff living in New Jursey.  And I thought you had two kids.  Did you procreate again?
***************************************

You know, FT, someday I like to sit down and have a drink or two with you. We’d either end up having a lot of laughs or one of us would be in the pokey for homicide.

I haven’t procreated lately that I know of (and I don’t think my wife would hide that from me)—but I sure like practicing!

Besides, our 2nd kid was “outsourced”, remember?

As for learning stuff in NJ (besides where to find the BEST pizza, Chinese food and diners), it does occasionally happen, you know.  A Nobel laureate or two has been educated or lived here….One of the 3 laureates in Chemistry last fall is a Joisey boy.

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By PatrickHenry, June 11, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, June 11 at 3:04 pm #

I’m down with ya, unrestrained capitalism without regulation is a recipe for disaster if we have found that our again and again and again…

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By Long in the truth, June 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All American fundamentalists - such as is Obama -are so electrified by the long line of power into which they are plugged that they not only can’t hear the truth, they are convinced it is their g-given mandate to create and re-create it, by any means necessary.

When are we humans going to get it, we are short-term mortals all struggling with the fact there might not be any meaning to our short existence, after all. We need to understand it is futile to create meaning from the position of fear and denial.  Short of loving each other, there is simply nothing we can do to eliminate this ever present existential angst. NOTHING!! No power attained, no flag waved, no religion observed, no race held higher, no symbol of any kind to which we attach meaning will ever change the fact that we will each die and cease to exit. Period!  So let’s get over it and grow-up.

The words of Chris Hedges are as important to us as air, because without them, and the words of others like him, we will continue to kill without check, in our stupefied search for meaning. 

Below, I’ve attached a posting of a letter in the Leavenworth, KS Daily Times published in 1862. It seems to have been written by a war correspondent, and in eerily similar fashion to Chris’ accounting of war crimes, this letter written so long ago, offers us an opportunity to examine our American embrace with hatred. It is startling just how much like April 1945, Germany these American scenes read. And yet that German manifestation of hatred almost pales in comparison when you consider that this act of hatred described below, follows hundreds of years of brutal bondage and as hurricane, Katrina exhibited - still remains in tact.


DAILY TIMES [LEAVENWORTH, KS], August 2, 1862, p. 2, c. 1

Revelations.

        The Evening Post translates a letter from the Independence Belge, written by M. Honzeau, a savant of Belgium, who was living in Texas at the time the rebellion broke out.
        “We have received two of his letters,” says L’Independance, “and if they did not emanate from one of our countrymen whose good name and character are known to all, we would hesitate to publish statements which seem too horrible for credence.  But we cannot doubt their truth, and print them to show the kind of men and the cause that the partisans of American Secessionists would defend.”
        We quote a few paragraphs:

Matamoras, Mexico, April 27, 1862.
                Ah, my dear S———, with what satisfaction have I escaped from that region of tyranny!  The history of this impious war for the extension and perpetuity of Slavery will never be fully written.  No one can tell it at all.—What blind rage and hate!  New Orleans is taken.  Well, you who live far away cannot comprehend the delirium this has raised.  Before surrendering it, the planters burned their cotton, their sugar, their steam cotton presses, and their refineries.  They preferred this to confiscation and the thought that their goods would enrich the enemy.
        But—shame and crime unparalleled—they also burned their slaves.  Think of the degree of insane fury to which they were carried.  They preferred to burn their slaves rather than to see them emancipated.  Those who committed this atrocity—unparalleled in history particularly, because it does not hurt their enemies—those who did this deed called their inoffensive blacks together, and sent them into the workshops and locked the doors; the fire was lighted and quickly did its work, while the masters waited outside to shoot with their rifles the child, the old man, the woman or any one who might leap from the window or roof, to escape the dreadful flames.

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By KDelphi, June 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

STOP TURNING PEOPLE IN!! ITS CENSORSHIP! How childish…maybe we could all just turn each other in and play kindergarten…

ardee—-we do agree on so many things, as you said on another thread.

Why cant we agree on the basic issue that Capitalism is the problem? I dont know how people can miss the gorilla in the living room…

microsaudid—I take no pleasure in saying i told you so now, and i will take none in the future. I am sick of all this obfiscation. Stand for principles, not people. I dont have any responsibility to “help him” with anything…he’s getting paid—I’m not. Hey, that sounds like a good job for a ‘good Democrat”—maybe you?? Yes YOU can!

Folktruther, thebeerdr, Russian Paul have said it all..

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By Folktruther, June 11, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Ardee, you are quite right, Obama is a front for postmodern fascism.  Virgina is very nice but, I’m afrad, a descendant of that Virgina that believed in Santy Claus.  I retract 82% of what I thought about you.  You’re just wonderful.

Inherit, Night-Gaunt, none of that stuff works on my computer.  And, inherit, how did you learn that stuff living in New Jursey.  And I thought you had two kids.  Did you procreate again?

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By Night-Gaunt, June 11, 2009 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

Obama, whose embrace of American imperialism is as naive and destructive as that of George W. Bush, is the newest brand used to peddle the poison of permanent war. We may not see it. But those who bury the dead do.”

The point is those who are burying the dead of our gov’t and corporate actions are what is remembered even if we never see it on the CMSM. And Al-Jazzera shows it all un-edited unlike the antiseptic way it is done here, even on cable. We just aren’t shown the mutilation and slaughter our weapons are doing to millions across this world.

For italics it is “<” then “i” then “>” close with “<” & “/i>” to get it. Substitute “b” to get bold. Use both of them, one after another to get bold-italic. Test on “preview.”

I could have told you before the election that Obama was just the better face of the fascist cabal moving us bit-by-bit to a theocratic state of their own choosing. [Then they will have the empire they crave. I mean a straight forward one, not the half-assed one we have now. The Old Republic will be swept away.] Once our economy falls and the gov’t is discredited ( in both senses) they will give a ‘helping’ hand to be the replacement gov’t that will have food, shelter, defense and most will take it. Better than chaos and starvation. What do you do when the best of all possible worlds is what the Dominionists offer over neo-barbarism?

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By Inherit The Wind, June 11, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

tahitifp, June 11 at 2:19 am #

{i}I’d like to go back to Tahiti in late December, first class (International Biz class is fine) and there will be 5 of us….We’d like a side trip to Rangeroa included, please!{/}
************************************

Those are braces “{”, not brackets”[”

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By PatrickHenry, June 11, 2009 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

By tahitifp, June 11 at 2:19 am #

You used the uppercase parenthesis, use the lower case bracket on the same key.

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By ardee, June 11, 2009 at 3:45 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, June 10 at 6:41 pm #

Ardee, Microdad,  I don’t really think you are any worse than any of the other Obama cheerleaders, just no better.
............................

Calling me an Obama cheerleader speaks volumes about you and nothing whatever about my own political stance. That I speak to individual decisions and policies rather than post overall and generalized rants might just be a bit too nuanced for you, but then, you’d actually have to read and think to avoid such error.

I sympathize, thinking does require such effort after all.

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By ardee, June 11, 2009 at 3:41 am Link to this comment

Virginia777, June 11 at 12:51 am #

Again, the content of these overwhelmingly hostile comments convince me that Chris Hedges is wasting his time (and ours) Obama-bashing.

He is only fanning the fire of misguided commentators like this one:

“Obama was as much a front man for fascism as was Reagan.
.......................................

Thank you Virginia, for your attention to detail. I would like to correct my post immediately; Obama IS as much a front man for for fascism as was Reagan.

How many days does it take, Virginia? How many clowns like Geithner, Summers and Gates in positions of power will you need to see? How many more wars, deaths of innocents, torture disguised, injustices continuing, treasuries looted, homes foreclosed, health care canceled or refused will bring your attention to the obvious?

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By tahitifp, June 10, 2009 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment

grin ITW wrote:  ” I’d like to go back to Tahiti in late December, first class (International Biz class is fine) and there will be 5 of us….We’d like a side trip to Rangeroa included, please!”
******************

*Free-Fall Airlines* will fly you non-stop, hopefully, from LAX only.  If you choose to fly out of NYC, *Rubber-Band Air will connect you in LAX either 3 or 5 days before your Tahiti flight.  It will depend on what in-flight movies they get and whether or not they can provide any peanuts on your flight.

(Just think what I would have offered had I been able to figure out this *&^&# HTML.)  grin

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By tahitifp, June 10, 2009 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment

{i}I’d like to go back to Tahiti in late December, first class (International Biz class is fine) and there will be 5 of us….We’d like a side trip to Rangeroa included, please!{/}

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By Virginia777, June 10, 2009 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

Again, the content of these overwhelmingly hostile comments convince me that Chris Hedges is wasting his time (and ours) Obama-bashing.

He is only fanning the fire of misguided commentators like this one:

“Obama was as much a front man for fascism as was Reagan”

“Was”?? hello, Obama has not been president for one year yet!

Meanwhile, Obama’s speech that has been almost completely derided in these comments,

is making the Israel nervous, so nervous they are considering sanctions against the U.S.!

as Robert Scheer reported on another post here: “Peled Proposes Israeli Sanctions On US”
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22803.htm

WHEN does Obama get credit for taking steps in the right direction?

Whose side are the Liberals going to be on, I ask?

or are they going to drown in an ocean of cynicism and miss the real opportunities when they are presented?

(this is exactly what the Right is hoping for)

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By colin2626262, June 10, 2009 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
    nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated
    you from your God;
    your sins have hidden his face from you,
    so that he will not hear.
For your hands are stained with blood,
    your fingers with guilt.
    Your lips have spoken lies,
    and your tongue mutters wicked things.
No one calls for justice;
    no one pleads his case with integrity.
    They rely on empty arguments and speak lies;
    they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
They hatch the eggs of vipers
    and spin a spider’s web.
    Whoever eats their eggs will die,
    and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
    Their deeds are evil deeds,
    and acts of violence are in their hands.
Their feet rush into sin;
    they are swift to shed innocent blood.
    Their thoughts are evil thoughts;
    ruin and destruction mark their ways.
The way of peace they do not know;
    there is no justice in their paths.
    They have turned them into crooked roads;
    no one who walks in them will know peace.
So justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
    We look for light, but all is darkness;
    for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
Like the blind we grope along the wall,
    feeling our way like men without eyes.
    At midday we stumble as if it were twilight;
    among the strong, we are like the dead.
We all growl like bears;
    we moan mournfully like doves.
    We look for justice, but find none;
    for deliverance, but it is far away.
For our offenses are many in your sight,
    and our sins testify against us.
    Our offenses are ever with us,
    and we acknowledge our iniquities:
rebellion and treachery against the LORD,
    turning our backs on our God,
    fomenting oppression and revolt,
    uttering lies our hearts have conceived.
So justice is driven back,
    and righteousness stands at a distance;
    truth has stumbled in the streets,
    honesty cannot enter.
Truth is nowhere to be found,
    and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
    The LORD looked and was displeased
    that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no one,
    he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him,
    and his own righteousness sustained him.
He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
    and the helmet of salvation on his head;
    he put on the garments of vengeance
    and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
According to what they have done,
    so will he repay
    wrath to his enemies
    and retribution to his foes;
    he will repay the islands their due.
From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD,
    and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.
    For he will come like a pent-up flood
    that the breath of the LORD drives along.
“The Redeemer will come to Zion,
    to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
    declares the LORD.
“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,” says the LORD.

Isaiah 59

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By Inherit The Wind, June 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Oh, and we’d prefer to fly from Newark but we can suck it up and fly from JFK.
smile

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By Inherit The Wind, June 10, 2009 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

tahitifp, June 11 at 12:04 am #

OK, I’ll ask nicely again.  How do you get italics when quoting someone?

Whomever answers gets a free trip to Tahiti! grin

**********************************************
To start italics: Open Bracket, lower case “i”, close bracket
To end italics: Open Bracket, Forward slash, lower case “i”, close bracket.

Use the “Preview” box to test.

I’d like to go back to Tahiti in late December, first class (International Biz class is fine) and there will be 5 of us….We’d like a side trip to Rangeroa included, please!

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By tahitifp, June 10, 2009 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

OK, I’ll ask nicely again.  How do you get italics when quoting someone?

Whomever answers gets a free trip to Tahiti! grin

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By Inherit The Wind, June 10, 2009 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, June 10 at 6:41 pm #

Ardee, Microdad, The TD truth police sent me a notice yesterday about not insulting people. O, I’m so ashamed!  Inherit and I insult each other all the time- that must be cause we jointly believe in, vituperation- and I just continued it against you two without thinking. I don’t really think you are any worse than any of the other Obama cheerleaders, just no better.

I don’t see how people cannot see the Obama style.  Proclaiming he is changing Bushite policy and then operatively continuing it.  He has done it again and again in a variety of areas of policy, over and over again.  But apparently some people can’t see it.
And that apparently includes you two fine honarable and extemely intelligent gentlemen.

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

Me?  I never insult you, you dumb neo-Marxist jackass! I just tell the truth about you…..

smile
smile

Actually, I think a visit from the Fiction Writers’ Guild would have been more in order.

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By tahitifp, June 10, 2009 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

And then there’s this one.

““Why should we hear about body bags and deaths,” Barbara Bush said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on March 18, 2003. “Oh, I mean, it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”

And the crown and scepter were passed forward.

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By thebeerdoctor, June 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

re: micosaudad

Why bother saying anything? perhaps you forget the Dylan Thomas axiom of not going gentle into that sweet good night. The truth is still the truth, whether anybody hears or reads it or not. As an advocate for peace in this world, I see no reason not to comment on the vicious, venal brutality that passes itself off as foreign diplomacy. “It was worth it,” was Secretary of State Albright’s reply to the Iraqi sanctions that resulted in the unnecessary deaths of at least a half million Iraqi children.
The fact that Washington’s inner circle, now called the Obama administration, refuses to listen, does not mean that it should not be said.
How many well intentioned people have hitched their stars to some politician’s wagon, only to discover themselves later being run over by that well oiled machine? Matters could be improved greatly when folks realize that politicians are not concerned with their concerns, but only how they can make use of manipulating them. Mark Twain once said that a politician is an ass that everyone has sat upon… except a man.
That might be a start. To not engage in the media elevation that portrays politicians as more important than the citizens. Then when the citizens start making their demands known, they will at least know what kind of animal they are dealing with, and no longer be intimidated by their limos and guns.

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By tahitifp, June 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

PH said:


I support Obama because he was the best pick IMHO, given McCain.  I would have gladly voted for Kucinich and Ron Paul over Obama, however that was not an option.

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

Many many people wanted an option,  including me.  So how do we go about getting one so we don’t continue this cycle of progressives having to vote for s/o in resignation, becuz the repug is so bad?

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By micosaudad, June 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, it’s a shame that the truth polic visited you,  that’s my fault.  I meant to call the hyperbole police instead.

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By tahitifp, June 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

The victims always become the persecutors.  Always!

Psych 101.

To my knowledge, we are holding his feet to the fire.  Look how we wanted him to vote on FISA and then look what he did.

Then there were the top priorities he wanted us to list at his site.  The prosecution of bushco was in the top three, along with the legalization of grass.  I think getting out of Iraq was also up there.  Look how well he listened to us there.

Remember when he said that he was only thing standing between the banksters and our pitchforks?  Why didn’t he get outta the way? 

I saw him as a front man for the corps from the beginning, but I really didn’t think he’d be this bad.
**************
How do you all get italics?  I don’t see any little clicky for it.  Do you have to go mess with preferences?

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By PatrickHenry, June 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, June 10 at 6:41 pm #

I agree with your opinion, not just all of the time.

I support Obama because he was the best pick IMHO, given McCain.  I would have gladly voted for Kucinich and Ron Paul over Obama, however that was not an option.

We are not even 6 months out of the starting gate and everyone talks in absolutisms regarding what BO is or isn’t doing.  Who knows, in 6 months I may be calling for his head.

As far as expressing opinions with plesantries, they often turn snide and condesending and everyone wants to play moderator because their opinion is better or so they think.  Too much BS for me.

As a former Marine combat vet, you fuck with the bull you get the horns.

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By Folktruther, June 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, Microdad, The TD truth police sent me a notice yesterday about not insulting people. O, I’m so ashamed!  Inherit and I insult each other all the time- that must be cause we jointly believe in, vituperation- and I just continued it against you two without thinking. I don’t really think you are any worse than any of the other Obama cheerleaders, just no better.

I don’t see how people cannot see the Obama style.  Proclaiming he is changing Bushite policy and then operatively continuing it.  He has done it again and again in a variety of areas of policy, over and over again.  But apparently some people can’t see it.
And that apparently includes you two fine honarable and extemely intelligent gentlemen.

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By micosaudad, June 10, 2009 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

Sorry for the double-post but I wanted to respond to beerdoctor’s comment:

“How can the Internet grumblings of disappointed posters affect the Obama administration in any way?”

Well, this viewpoint leads one to an existential conundrum - if what you say doesn’t have any affect on the world, then why bother even saying it?

And I would argue that what is said here and everywhere does make a difference.  Malcolm Gladwell in the Tipping Point discusses how by simple acts like removing graffiti and picking up litter that the health of communities can be drastically improved in unexpected ways.

Opinions and impressions are shaped on boards from time to time (otherwise why bother?) and if we want the discussions that form those opinions to be healthier then let’s just clean up the litter, and try to be a little bit more rigorous about what we want, how to get it, and what sacrifices and compromises we’re willing to make to get those things.

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By micosaudad, June 10, 2009 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Yeah ardee, I agree. Russian Paul’s comment was quite good.

There are three main aspects to it (if I paraphrase incorrectly please excuse):

1. A feeling that we’re continuing an unethical and illegal foreign policy.
2. A feeling that the proposed healthcare reform not is likely to have a ‘good’ outcome.
3. A feeling that if we don’t hold the administrations feet to the fire that they will succumb to other pressures.

I couldn’t agree with the third point more.  By ‘setting aside cynicism’ I don’t mean to suggest that we set aside our drive for change.  I mean the exact opposite.  Now is the time to intelligently apply pressure to get the result(s) you want.  I believe that attacking Obama is not intelligent application of pressure. 

Who are the real hold ups against single payer? Obama?  Obama has made the political calculation that it won’t be passed.  If we (collectively) apply enough pressure on the groups fighting it, then we’re more likely to give Obama the room to get a better outcome.  What politician wouldn’t *love* to be able to say he went above and beyond his campaign promises?

In this instance, Obama shouldn’t be the focus of our effort, and in any case our effort shouldn’t be derogatory or spiteful.

The same goes with foreign policy.  Who are the real hold ups against reforming how we handle detainees?  Who had caniption fits when Obama suggested transferring some of them to supermax?  There should be intelligent pressure on those groups.

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By ardee, June 10, 2009 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

pesach kremen, June 10 at 4:19 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

You are wrong in mentioning Israel’s “brutal” assault on Gaza. What about the years of rocket fire from Gaza to Israel when you said absolutely nothing? Are you aware that Hamas would deliberately locate rocket launchers in populated areas.
........................................

Sir,
All the years of firing of outmoded and erratic Katusha rockets has resulted in far, far, far fewer deaths to Israelis than has the retaliation of the IDF to those rocket attacks. Many thousands more Palestinians have died than have Israelis.

Further, those rockets have a range of only 17 miles and ,if Israel would cease encroaching upon the land of the Palestinians with illegal settlements, many more would be out of range of them.

Your statement about Hamas locating rockets in populated areas mirrors the usual charges from the transgressor excusing the mass murder of innocent civilians. It is, in fact, the same charges the US uses in excusing the deaths of innocent Afghans.

Your people threw 700,000 Arabs out of the new state of Israel and has been persecuting them ever since. If Israel would remember its heritage and its conscience, if it would cease adopting the tactics of the Nazis, perhaps those rockets would stop wending their erratic course.

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By PatrickHenry, June 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

By ardee, June 10 at 5:32 pm #

Just happy to be a fly in your ointment.

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By ardee, June 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, June 10 at 5:23 pm

Are you always such a jackass or are you just having a bad day?

You are, by the by,one of those posters on the other side of intelligent commentary. Poor genes perhaps?

I have a hint for you. The next time you are tempted to prove what a childish and irrelevant little person you are, dont.

Oh, sorry, too late.

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By PatrickHenry, June 10, 2009 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

By ardee, June 10 at 3:40 pm #

“Just wanted to applaud the exchange between micosaudad and Russian Paul. An increasingly rare display of intelligent , polite and knowledgeable postings…..Thank you for setting this example” .

My, how Ophrah of you ardee.

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By thebeerdoctor, June 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

re: micosaudad

How can the Internet grumblings of disappointed posters affect the Obama administration in any way? What have you not heard that the spiritually troubled peasants found on the world wide web concerned about the plight of their fellow ordinary human beings, have absolutely no standing amongst the Clear Channel, Fox Network, Wall Street Journal dispensers of conventional wisdom? Do you really believe that a slick political operative such as President Obama, gives a rat’s ass about these concerns? How naive is naive?

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