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This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
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What is going on?

The Bar
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RationalWiki:Forum
  1. Has anyone heard of this - "Femitheism"? (18:56, 20 Aug 2014)
  2. Article on Searle's Chinese Room (20:53, 17 Aug 2014)
  3. Innocence of Muslims (14:33, 14 Aug 2014)
  4. What makes logic valid? (21:49, 13 Aug 2014)
  5. There seems to be a LOT of people who hate us. (21:36, 13 Aug 2014)
  6. Is it right to condemn ancient cultures for believing in religion even though they did not have the same scientific advances/advantages that we do now? (15:26, 9 Aug 2014)
To do list

Contents


Obama's speech

Will be alluding to FDR and the New Deal. All I'm saying is, we're repeating history again. Osaka Sun (talk) 00:43, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

FDR borrowed from Wall Street. Obama borrows from China. Big difference. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
The United States Government, not presidents, borrow, to pay for the policies which cost more than can be afforded, e.g., two wars and a horribly expensive War on Drugs. And China ranks pretty low among our debtholders. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:37, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
(I used "China" cause it sounded better than "foreigners"). The point is, Obama is not pursuing a stimulus policy similar to FDR. FDR borrowed from Wall Street, and repaid Wall Street, meaning both the capital borrowed to employ people, and the interest and principal repaid remained in the US. The purpose of the borrowing and stimulus is basically for the principal borrowed to clone itself. When the principal is later re-exported, AS WELL AS interest on that borrowing, 'THAT defeats the whole purpose of a stimulus. None of the growth from the borrowing remains in the country to employ people. There is no comparison between FDR's and Obama's borrowing and stimulus programs. nobsCorporations are people, too 21:20, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I thought mercantilism was considered a stupid idea ever since The Wealth of Nations, but its popularity never seems to fade... --Tweenk (talk) 01:42, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Bah. Adam Smith was a foreigner and a college professor. We're not going to take his silly theories over good old American know-how. Doctor Dark (talk) 02:16, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I thought capitalism was considered a stupid idea ever since Das Kapital, but its popularity never seems to fade... Q0 (talk) 07:35, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
This notion is quite simple: Obama has borrowed a principal of nearly $5 trillion from foreigners with the idea of using it as a working capital to stimulate job creation. Then, the workers employed with that capital are supposed to re-create with a profit the value of their maintenance together with savings, or a profit (or "growth"), which in turn is supposed to be used to employ more workers. When FDR did it, the principal borrowed and interest paid was returned to Wall Street, where the Wall Street investors took their repaid principals and interest earning to invest in more U.S. jobs and businesses. In Obama's case, both principal and interest must be repaid o foreigners, leaving neither the capital employed (borrowed from foreigners), nor the earnings off that principal, to circulate and employ people in the United States. This, coupled with the fact any growth to the U.S. economy from foreign stimulus capital likewise requires the purchase of foreign crude oil to fuel it. Obama's brand of Keynesian theory can't work, won't work, and will never work. And it is not modeled after FDR's domestic borrowing efforts. And the success of FDR's efforts were marginal to dubious, at best, under the best of circumstances. nobsCorporations are people, too 16:40, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Do you deny that it was massive government spending that eventually got us out of the depression? DickTurpis (talk) 17:01, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
If you count the Depression extending to 1942 and beyond, then yes, I'd agree massive government spending did get us out the Depression. But I'd also say massive government spending turned an ordinary recession into the Great Depression, as well. nobsCorporations are people, too 17:33, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I've heard several people make that claim, but never heard anyone give a feasible explanation for that theory. Wanna give it a shot? DickTurpis (talk) 17:39, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Milton Friedman criticizes the Federal Reserve for not doing the job it was created to do -- intervene and provide liquidity during the banking crisis of 1933. I'm sure Federal Reserve officials at the time argued the gold standard prevented them from stopping gold shipments out of the country at that moment which caused the run on the banks and FDR's bank holiday (we're working on some of these RW pages at the moment). Others would argue Herbert Hoover's creation of the wp:Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Hoover's own relief efforts coupled with FDR's massive increases turned the '29-33 crash into a full blown Depression, later double-dip depression (see Roosevelt Recession). I'll even argue the old standby dear to my heart, the William Wirt Incident, which got much press at the time. nobsCorporations are people, too 18:04, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, that doesn't back up your claim. "Milton Freedman says...", "Others would argue...", "I'll even argue..." Got any facts? It seems Friedman thinks the government didn't intervene enough, which is weird for guys who think the free market is basically infallible. And do you really mean to argue that a "recession" lasting from 1929 through 1933 wasn't a depression by that stage already? How specifically did the New Deal make the depression worse (or turn a slight downturn of just 4 years into a depression)? DickTurpis (talk) 18:27, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Focusing on the Unemployment Rate, there are numerous problems finding reliable data (see Origins of the Unemployment Rate: The Lasting Legacy of Measurement without Theory, by David Card, UC Berkley and wp:NBER). So let's use a source we're familiar with and we could contact if we had questions, wp:User:Rjensen. Because of the shifting definitions and inconsistent data from the 1930s in counting the unemployed, Prof. Jensen's explanations are very helpful. Look here, pg. 557 Table 1. Unemployment of Labor Force by Type, 1929 -1941, column 3 Structural and Hardcore. Jensen does a good job explaining cyclical and frictional unemployment, which have an overall impact in the rate totals. But you'll see Structural and Hardcore unemployment never wavered outside a range of 9% to 10% between 1933 and 1940. If government programs can't help this group, what use or purpose are they? As to the others outside this group, Jensen even explains how "frictional unemployment" can be a good thing, a young worker between jobs taking employment for a higher rate of pay which has the net effect of increasing overall output, productivity, and a higher tax bracket. The structural and hardcore unemployed are the most needy, and the New Deal did jackshit according to this data. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:09, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You continue to dodge the question. No one's saying the New Deal ended the depression, but how did it make it worse, or, as you argue, actually cause it? DickTurpis (talk) 22:46, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Hey, now. "The New Deal caused the Great Depression, which resulted in the New Deal" is a perfectly stable time loop, like painting the portrait that inspired you to paint and giving yourself a tax break so you can afford to build a time machine to lobby for a tax break. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 10:43, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Dick, the New Deal retarded growth rates (see chart attached to the link). nobsCorporations are people, too 01:54, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Here's an online copy of New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression on the Minneapolis Federal Reserve's website, you know, the Fed which is supposed to be independent of politics, unless you now wish to join up with the Paultard's and claim that the Federal Reserve considering the New Deal was a failure that hampered recovery is part of a Federal Reserve conspiracy. nobsCorporations are people, too 02:08, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Really? You're linking to a CP article as proof? The only chart I saw showed modest growth anyway. Perhaps your second link might be more useful, but I'm not going to read 75 pages of economic analysis right now. Can you give me a summary of how the New Deal made the depression worse. You know, something that indicates that things would have been significantly better if it never happened? Just the theory behind this hypothesis would be nice. Economics works in a pretty logical fashion, by and large. "Things were bad, therefore the New Deal made them bad" is an argument I might expect to see at CP, but we strive for better here. DickTurpis (talk) 12:30, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and I found this interesting factoid: "Although the New Deal did not fully solve the economic catastrophe that was on the verge of destroying the US economy in early 1933, it achieved many of its objectives and the period of 1933-37 saw some sectors return to economic growth." I'm sure that's more commie agitprop, though. I'll admit it isn't from the most reliable source. Just some random website called "Conservapedia" or something equally silly sounding. DickTurpis (talk) 13:47, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
From the abstract on the Minneapolis Federal Reserve site:
  • We find that New Deal cartelization policies are an important factor in accounting for the post-1933 Depression. We also find that the key depressing element of New Deal policies was not collusion per se, but rather the link between paying high wages and collusion.
Explanation of "cartelization", also known as "code authorities" cited by the same author in Wikipedia here. The quote you cite from CP is probably Prof Jensen, so he's a fairly neutral source. And as Jensen says, the prevailing economic theories of wp:Alvin Hansen, which dominated New Deal thinking, were not pro-growth at all (see wp:Alvin_Hansen#Stagnation. Such thinking has been totally rejected by modern scholarship, yet this clown was "an influential advisor to the government who helped create the Council of Economic Advisors and the Social security system." nobsCorporations are people, too 23:45, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Closer, but still lacking the analysis of how the New Deal made the Depression worse. I'm genuinely curious here. For example, I can give a brief rundown of how the New Deal elevated certain problems: People were unemployed. The New Deal directly put some people to work, therefore more people had jobs than they would have if there had been no New Deal. The unemployment rate is therefore lower than it would have been otherwise, at least to a small extent. If you can illustrate how doing this may have directly caused an increase in unemployment in the private sector, please do.Otherwise, it looks like a net gain for the New Deal, as far employment is concerned. I realize this didn't end the Depression, but I'd still like evidence it made it worse. DickTurpis (talk) 19:10, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, the "structural and hardcore" unemployed Jensen speaks of generally refers to workers 45 and older with an outdated skill set. This number remained stubbornly stuck at 10% throughout the New Deal. After 1936, the Social Security Act motivated workers age 62 and over to vacate positions, bringing unemployed workers in their 20s into the workforce. This is not creating jobs. Cyclical unemployment mostly counts part year workers; so while a worker at a ski lodge may be unemployed for 6 months of the year, and another worker at golf course for the other six months, both workers are counted only as 1 unemployed worker in the year end tally.
Back to structural and hardcore unemployed. This phenomena is nothing new and one of the problems we see today. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, or the end of American slavery, freedom gave previously unimaginable opportunities -- if you were young enough to take advantage of it. But for workers 45+ who knew no other way of life than the system they grew up in, it was also the beginning of unimaginable hardship and adjustments they were never prepared to deal with.
So, the cartelization, or above market wage and price fixing, played favorites with winners and losers. Those New Deal loyal Democrats employed in industries regulated by industrial codes got unjustified pay increases; the government imposed, artificial, higher prices led to less output; the structurally unemployed were barred from competing by providing lower, more reasonable and market justified prices. nobsCorporations are people, too 19:46, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

We get a Twitter mention

From Dr Evan Harris and retweeted by Brian Cox! It's about Poe's law, of course. rpeh •TCE 08:23, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

If only he would mention us on the telly. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 10:55, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Can we handle the server load? -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:48, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
The audience would wonder why he referred them to a 408 timeout error. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 22:33, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Isn't Poe's Law already generalised to include everything on the fringes? Or was that "trimmed"? Scarlet A.pngd hominemModerator 16:24, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Booze

If you drink alcoholic beverages, what do you drink? I drink a lot of cheap wine (no particular label, I stick to reds) and snooty beer (wherever I go, I try to get a local craft beer, failing that, I'll drink the local swill). --TheLateGatsby (talk) 18:03, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Wine should be matched with food, but if I must partake I prefer a nice kirin beer, or in terms of mixed drinks I'm rather partial to the occasional Dark n'Stormy.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRjust shut up already 18:21, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I always have a box of red wine going, and have at least a glass with most dinners. Sometimes the equivalent of a bottle or more. I also drink micro-brews and imports. Ales, mostly, I never much cared for lager. If I'm drinking the hard stuff it's usually scotch. Occasionally rum or some other mixed drink (I prefer dark 'n' stormies too), but not too often. Last night I was at a party with a keg of PBR, so I drank bourbon, whiskey, and some Grand Marnier, which I hadn't had in a long time. Suffice to say I had a bit of a hangover this morning. DickTurpis (talk) 19:30, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't have too much experience with many mixed drinks: mostly because they're best enjoyed with company and the only people around to drink with are ass-backwards college students who would rather blow it on cheap beer than anything very delicious. Mixed drinks make me think of wizard potions for some reason... and I probably should avoid gin. My family has bad reactions to it.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRsufficiently advanced argument still distinguishable from magic 19:35, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Gin tastes awful, you're not missing anything. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 19:41, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Gin is lovely. Proper beer is good; lager has its place; vodka can be good; but if ever I decided to believe in a god it would be the god of Whisky. rpeh •TCE 19:47, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, most beers taste the same to me, but I prefer Pabst Blue Ribbon because it's inexpensive. Also, don't try Milwaukee Draft. That has a very unpleasant bitter taste. For liquor, I like Southern Comfort. For wine, I prefer reds, but I'm used to hearing and saying the names and not spelling them, no no suggestions from me.--"Shut up, Brx." 19:57, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
  1. Gin
  2. Single Islay malt
  3. Good blend whisky
  4. Bitter beer
  5. Guinness
  6. American Red wine (Zinfandel)
  7. Coffee
  8. OJ
  9. Milk
  10. Water
  11. Tea
Scream!! (talk) 20:04, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Bitter beer, rum, vodka, brandy. ТyILAB 20:50, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
The loved one brews mead. Authentic traditional English rocket fuel. The strawberry one is particularly successful - David Gerard (talk) 20:08, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
It's easier to answer the negative question - "What don't you drink?"
I can't stand dark rum. Everything else is grist for the mill.--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:15, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I prefer beer above all, generally something ice-cold and light or something warm and dark. Guinness is one of my favorites. I'm not much for liquor, really, but gin is the exception. I just finished my bottle of Gordon's this past week - time for another! Nothing like a really good g&t at the end of the workday.--ADtalkModerator 21:16, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I only drink good, expensive stuff, regardless of what it is. -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:48, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I drink beer, me. Taiwan Gold Medal Beer (green bottle) is very nice. Taiwan Beer (brown bottle) is bloody awful. The best beer I ever had was Will Beer, made by Asahi, in Japan in 1999. It went off the market after less than a month.Spud (talk) 16:23, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
My staple drink is ale, usually ruby red moderately strong ones like Hobgoblin, Old Speckled Hen, Adnams Broadside, etc. I don't much care for generic lagers, but a witbier on a sunny day is a fine thing. I like red wine & the occasional decent cider. Scotch or Irish whisk(e)y, dark rum, cognac, calvados; no mixers. Don't mind a few traditional cocktails, but it's not really my scene, & I'm not really a fan of the clear spirits. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:04, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
To go along with meals, I like semi-sweet and sweet wines: Mogen David Concord (USA), Sutter Home Moscato (USA), Pellegrino Moscato (Italy), Frontera Late Harvest (Chile), Monbazillac (France), Eiswein (Germany). The last one is worth trying even if you don't like wine in general; it's very, very sweet and has a 'sparkling' quality to its taste, even though it's not a sparkling wine (i.e. no bubbles). For special occasions I usually have Polish-style mead, especially the 'dwójniak' varieties. On parties it's usually vodka, flavored spirits (basically alcohol extracts of various fruit diluted to vodka strength) and mixed drinks: Cuba Libre, Mojito, Tequila Sunrise; mostly the sweet / fruity ones. Improvised drinks are also fun, once you develop some intuition. I also enjoy Kahlua, Passoa, or best of all a mix of the two - sounds like a weird combination but it's absolutely delicious. Unfortunately they're a bit too expensive for me. --Tweenk (talk) 15:13, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I am yet to find an alcoholic beverage that I would happily drink if it were not alcoholic. Wine, Gin, Scotch, beer - all piss of various colours. I much prefer a nice cup of tea. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:46, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't drink alcoholic beverages because even lowest-proof ones taste insanely bitter to me. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 22:35, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Most recently, a clear bottle of Miller High Life, tha Champagne of Bottle Beer a couple of days ago over lunch at the corner cafe. Basic tank-truck red/plonk works for me. In my short sweet life I've gone through various stages, including "keep the gin in the freezer so it pours like syrup, and only think about Noilly Prat dry vermouth for a moment as you pour it." One nice autumn aperitif is sweet (Italian) vermouth and seltzer. Vary proportion to suit your mood. This past summer I was able to find a bottle or two of vinho verde which is lightly crackling and goes down like sody pop. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:35, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I prefer a Scottish Ale (like Belhaven), one without a high ABV. Other beers I have enjoyed are Old Speckled Hen, almost anything that my local brewpubs churns out, and pretty much anything that isn't labeled an IPA. As liquor goes, it is Scotch or nothing. I am particular to the "Glens", Glenmorangie being my favorite. Aboriginal Noise Theist, barely hanging by a nail 16:22, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

9/11 Memorial Museum

So, the memorial and museum they're building under the site is costing an exorbitant amount to construct and maintain by US memorial and national park standards, but the part I love is they intend to offset part of the operating costs "through fundraising and the sale of memorabilia." Yes, because the best way to solemnly remember the tragedy and those who lost their lives is to buy a t-shirt and souvenir snow globe from the gift shop. --CoyoteSans (talk) 21:19, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

A lot of it, I would imagine, would be bumper stickers, car decals, yard signs, and the like that you already see when driving around town. And with the amount of security they're talking about having, they might not have quite as many visitors as they'd like. If Congress goes along with funding it, I certainly hope they do the same with the national parks. Sam Tally-ho! 21:48, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
The security seems to me to be way over the top. It is bound to affect visitor numbers in much the same way a lot of tourists avoid the UK because of the agressive border security. --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 15:42, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Probably a lot of things that say "We will never forget." -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:54, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Foreget what? ;P --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 16:01, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Call me unamerican, but i'm pretty tired of being told not to forget. It's not just "forgetting" but moving the fuck on. Hell, most countries deal with this kind of shit yearly. that we have only had one major shit storm on our own soil is a good track record, but it's time to move on. Those who want to "not forget" wont' anyhow, cause likely, they lost people far more dear to them than my "american innocence" ("America has lost its innocence, today") is to me. And maybe they don't really want to walk that road on national tv every damned year.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 17:59, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
And this year it's on a Tuesday again, like it was in 2007. Cue the Lynyrd Skynyrd/Bad Company, Clear Channel-owned classic rock DJs. Myself? I'd rather see more of these shirts being sold than anymore Made-in-China jingoist "'Murica, fuck yeah!" crap. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:12, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Re Godot: "American innocence"? Did anyone seriously use that phrase? America has more shit on its plate than any other democracy: the systematic oppression and relocation of natives, the unique institution of racial slavery, the only use of atomic weapons in warfare, the indiscriminate firebombing of Tokio, the proxy wars fought with the Soviet Union, the support given to oppressive dictators to maintain "political stability" needed for business, the installation of puppet governments in foreign countries, the military actions in South America as part of the 'war on drugs' that only aggravate the problem... It's not innocence that America lost. It's the false sense of invulnerability, or more specifically - the sense of domestic immunity to the consequences of foreign policy. For a long time, the U.S. was notorious for being very naughty on the international arena and always getting away with it. 9/11 proved that it's not as invulnerable as it thinks. --Tweenk (talk) 15:37, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Secret Squirrel (talk) 23:01, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah, but remember your American Exceptionalism! It's totally different when it happens to the "USA!! USA!! USA!!" because, you, well, because. Doesn't matter that a tsunami in 2004 killed two orders of magnitude more people, nor that the wars directly brought on by 9/11 have killed nearly twice as many Americans as the attacks. You know, you should just NEVER FORGET!! I don't think it should be considered disrespectful or unpatriotic to simply tell people to get a fucking perspective. Scarlet A.pngpostateModerator 20:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
"Yes, because the best way to solemnly remember the tragedy and those who lost their lives is to buy a t-shirt and souvenir snow globe from the gift shop." That's true -- street vendors were already peddling flags and bumper stickers within days of 9/11. Capitalizing on tragedy and crass commercialism is the American WayTM! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:48, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
In fairness, current usage of American exceptionalism, on the right, is far from the usage of De Toqueville, or its origin in the 1630 sermon by John Winthrop. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 02:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Just saw Prometheus

I can't help but think that if I were to fund a trillion bllion dollar expedition to a far off planet, I wouldn't crew the ship with so many imbeciles AMassiveGay (talk) 20:46, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

An extremely disappointing film. Acei9 21:06, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Never examine sci-fi too closely. I couldn't watch Sunshine without continually thinking "so, why is this mission even manned, again?" Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 21:16, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Where theres the thing, if it can't stop you from examining it too closely, a film isn't doing its job. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:29, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't really care about scientific accuracy in sci-fi (I usually lean towards the softer side of the "SF hardness" scale), but I at least expect people who are supposed to be scientists to not act like morons. Still looked good, though. Woodgod (talk) 00:14, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It is better than this. ТyILAB 00:27, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Just saw this as well, and I really felt like I was watching three or four different movies all crammed into one and elbowing for space.--ADtalkModerator 00:16, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Java and mediawiki api

I just want to know, how would one use the mediawiki api with java? And for that matter, how would I then implement it, for practical uses? Thanks, RandonGeneration (talk) 03:19, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Your best bet would probably be this: http://jwbf.sourceforge.net/pw/, or http://code.google.com/p/wiki-java/ if you only need something simple. Read the documentation, check out the examples. -- Nx / talk 04:42, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
ew, I have to work with that? Actually, do you know of any very transplantable bots that are open source?64.180.242.74 (talk) 02:07, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Most of them are written in Python. -- Nx / talk 04:16, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Here's a list. -- Nx / talk 07:47, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Or there's the dotNetWikiBot framework. rpeh •TCE 05:28, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

What about teh menz in Vancouver?

Brilliant poster campaign, guys. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:33, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

"Because men don't matter." LOL Osaka Sun (talk) 02:44, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
It does miss the point, somewhat, as you're conflating "violence against women" in the context of domestic abuse with "violence experienced by men" in the context of (probably) getting shit faced and starting a fight. They're both problems, but don't have the same solution. I would say it's a fair criticism that often you're left feeling "you're privileged, therefore your opinion and your feelings don't matter, so fuck you", but, you know, understanding and communicating that idea requires some degree of nuance and intelligence that most vocal MRAs actually lack. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 09:00, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
It's a defacement of this poster from this Amnesty International campaign. Maybe these MRA clowns think Amnesty Intl just doesn't care about violence against men. Pig ignorant fools. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:50, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Well the data is schizophrenic at best: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-224-x/2010000/ct001-eng.htm --83.84.137.22 (talk) 13:08, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Screencap pls, I got 403:forbiden70.68.30.118 (talk) 21:45, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Because you followed a hyperlink. Copy-paste the url, or just hit enter in the address bar from the 403 page. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:48, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Or just link to it this way. You can't present something broken, then tell the audience to fix it themselves. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 21:51, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Innocence of Muslims

In case you missed the film that caused the protests at the American embassy's that lead to the death of the American ambassador to Libya: Innocence of Muslims (kinda NSFW, depicts sex act). This really reminds me of the Python movie "Life of Brian" which is an obvious mockumentary of Jesus. When that film came out were there any violent protests? Not trying to say Christianity is any different than Islam, I just was not alive during the time so I do not know how the world reacted to it when it was released. Certainly there is not a fundamental difference between the two types of religious zealots (Christian/Islam), but there is obviously a difference in tolerance in the societies that house them. It is times like these I am very glad the whole enlightenment thing happened or I would have been stoned for blasphemy long ago. TheCheatI run on alcohol 13:32, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Conflating Life Of Brian with The Innocence Of Muslims doesn't work. Life of Brian is an attack on religion in general and, when it briefly touches on Christ, it does so with respect. (Blessed are the cheesemakers). It certainly does not call Jesus a buffoon. I think a far more fitting parallel is between the rioters and the nutter who took out a bunch of Sikhs thinking they were Muslims. In both cases you have extremists using flimsy and misunderstood excuses to further an agenda of hatred. Bad Faith (talk) 14:06, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, the Pythons never explicitly called Christianity "a cancer." Does that justify the embassy attacks? Fuck no. Osaka Sun (talk) 14:09, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh I did not mean to lower Monty Python to the same level as this dumb movie, but frankly I always thought 'life of Brian' was directed at Christianity especially and while extremely hilarious and witty it still would be considered blasphemy by fanatics. Not being alive at the time I do not know how it was received upon release. TheCheatI run on alcohol 14:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
LoB was widely banned and there were widespread protests but, obviously, not attacks on embassies. But I think this misses the point. I would compare the embassy attacks with, for example, abortion clinic bombings, or those who go on the rampage in Sikh temples. In a highly charged and violent society like Syria it doesn't need much of an excuse to set off the fanatics but they certainly don't have a monopoly on them. Bad Faith (talk) 14:36, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
So is it theoretically possible for a movie to be so blasphemous to Christians that it would create the the same kind of violence? If so, what is the threshold and why? If not, how is one society simply more 'violent' than another? TheCheatI run on alcohol 14:58, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Life of Brian was never about Jesus. In fact, you can tell because if you bother to watch it you can see Jesus appear in the opening scene. But Christian pro-life groups have bombed abortion clinics and shot doctors in the head. It's far more complicated than just stating one religion "is" or "is not" more violent than the other. Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 16:13, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
What people seem to miss, and Christians and atheist choose to ignore, is that the violence has nothign to do with this film, or even Islam. It has everything to do with poverty, power, money, control, freedom, and a base of angry pepole who are being used by their political and religious leaders as tools. No, this would not have happened in the US, or UK, or France, but because it's "islam" and we are "christian", but because we do not have the kind of poverty and lack of access to social systems, health care, political freedome, right to speech, etc that you find in most middle eastern and northern african countries. This is the same ol' thing that it has always been about. Who can control the masses, and when will they say "fuck off" -- and when they do say fuck off, who will they lash out at? Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 17:06, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh please, lots of people are poor and you don't see them go on killing sprees.Religionisforidiots (talk) 01:23, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
What's "NTSF"? -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:33, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

What the movies are actually about isn't the issue. It's not like most Christians protesting LoB back in the day actually saw the movie, they just thought it was anti-Jesus. The rioters and bombers in the Middle East obviously haven't seen the movie in question either. They just heard there was an anti-Mohammad movie somewhere in America and went apeshit. But its true that Christians don't react violently to anti-Christian things, while some Muslims do react that way to anti-Muslim things. Some of it has to do with Christians being used to freedom of speech and are accustomed to having their beliefs mocked, whereas Muslims in the Middle East have been coddled when it comes to their religion. We probably need a lot more films/books/etc, critical of Islam so they eventually grow accustomed to it. You can't riot every day. It wears you out. DickTurpis (talk) 16:21, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

What a fucking stupid idea this Innocence of Muslims was. What did they have to gain by making this film? What could they possibly have accomplished? Also, Life of Brian was not anti-religion, the creators said so themselves--"Shut up, Brx." 16:32, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Talking about the response to LoB, this clip from 1979 is just that; the Pythons defending Life of Brian from butthurt Anglican officials. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 1013 points 04:48, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I think an important difference between LoB and IoM is that LoB was created by western , if not judeo-christian then rooted in judeo-christian values film makers, satirising their own beliefs, as it were. IoM is created by western judeo-christian film makers demonizing the faith of a group of people who as Godot says has very little freedom expression, very little freedom in general, and whose oppressors deflect any and all criticism of them to towards western judeo-christian powers who in many cases are complicit in maintaining and supporting that oppression. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:38, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Plus if you are living in abject poverty, constantly oppressed, and everything in this world seems to exist to fuck you over, religious faith is often all you have, all that keeps you going. People can be a tad touchy in such circumstances. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:46, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, yessss. But it's not like all Christians live in rich democratic countries which allow freedom of speech. A lot of Africans are Christians and all of South America is Christian.--Weirdstuff (talk) 18:02, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
And Africa has such a non-violent past, with the massive slaughters of peoples in the Congo, the lovely situation of literally 80% of all women being raped as a matter of life in rural South Africa; the endless uprisings against whomever in Zimbabwe. I think reality shows Gay's and my point, more than "but xians don't do that".Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 18:15, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I have no more love for Christianity than I do for Islam. My point was the previous posts seemed to me to be written from the point of view that Muslim = south and poor; Christian = north and rich. It's obviously not that simple.--Weirdstuff (talk) 18:39, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

The quote below is over simplistic.

edit break 1 (Proxima Centauri time)

What people seem to miss, and Christians and atheist choose to ignore, is that the violence has nothign to do with this film, or even Islam. It has everything to do with poverty, power, money, control, freedom, and a base of angry pepole who are being used by their political and religious leaders as tools. No, this would not have happened in the US, or UK, or France, but because it's "islam" and we are "christian", but because we do not have the kind of poverty and lack of access to social systems, health care, political freedome, right to speech, etc that you find in most middle eastern and northern african countries. [1]

Yes, the violence was partly to do with poverty and lack of access to social systems, health care, political freedome, right to speech, etc but it was also to do with intolerant Memeplexes connected to Islam. If Godot thinks it’s all due to poverty and the like she should explain why Asian Buddhists suffering similar poverty don’t get similarly violent. Below is a quote about how Muslims worldwide including in the UK reacted to Salman Rushdie round 1990.

By lawfully exercising his right to freedom of expression, Mr. Rushdie is committing no crime. However during the last twelve months, there have been at least a dozen attacks on bookshops. Booksellers in the United Kingdom have reported numerous death threats. Similar threats have been made to Mr. Rushdie’s publishers and supporters throughout the world. [2]

Muslims who weren’t suffering Third World poverty got violent or planned violence during the Danish cartoon affair. [3]

Why does all this matter?? It matters because we see yet again the double standard followed by many Christians and atheist Accommodationists.

  1. Defenders of religion are allowed to oversimplify in order to whitewash religion.
  2. Oversimplification by atheists is pounced on and humiliatingly labelled unscientific as in the case of some atheist who allegedly wrote, “I have read all (emphasis mine) of the sophisticated theology and none of it makes any sense”. [4] Christians and atheist Accommodationists don’t even have to give any links to prove any atheist actually wrote the comment about sophisticated theology. They just need to claim that it happened and other atheists are expected to hang their heads in shame and stop/cut down criticism of religion.

Let’s fight (metaphorically) to end this unjust Memeplex that holds opponents of religion to higher standards than supporters of religion. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:06, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Seriously, is this "I have read all the sophisticated theology" thing still a big deal for you? Doh.gif What the hell does it have to do with the price of fish? ωεαşεζόίďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:07, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
You mention asian buddhists not getting violent, so i gues the anti muslim rioting in burma doesn't count. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:17, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Violence by Buddhists if far less common, (edited to include) Buddhist violence happened in Burma and Sri Lanka that I know of, but it's far from the norm in Asia. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:23, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
And yet it exists and is far too common in Burma. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:34, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Your blood vendetta against Godot is hilarious. Also, [5] ТyILAB 18:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
While obviously things like poverty and oppression are factors, to pretend this has nothing to do with religion strikes me as wishful thinking. DickTurpis (talk) 18:37, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif
Religion is a tool used by those in power, who want to retain power. it is not the problem. Take it away, and you find something like "icky Capitalists from America!" and "AMerican headonists". People who are not desperate, aren't generally violent at this level. It's why groups like Occupy, with legitimate grudges, will not make any real changes. no one is THAT threatened in the west. As long as our focus is on the "icky muslims", we will never address the very real issues of economic power, political power and freedoms that are common place in muslim africa, southern "christian" africa, and the middle east, and we will continue to court violence. Notice however, when these same muslims attacke their own leader, no one was saying it was because they were "muslim", they were saying it was liberation! but the roots? the violence. the lack of a voice which makes someone need to attack - those are exactly the same in both cases. PS. look at LA riots. no religion needed there, but the spark is the same. something people find unacceptable, but cannot challenge via the system. Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 18:43, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
(EC)I'm not sure any one is saying religion isn't a factor nor that it isn't a major one. But poverty, oppression, and centuries of near constant warfare between muslim and christian nations are just as major factors. And that warfare, real or cultural, has been very onesided for quite some time. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:46, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

edit break 2 (Proxima Centauri redux)

What people seem to miss, and Christians and atheist choose to ignore, is that the violence has nothign to do with this film, or even Islam. It has everything to do with poverty, power, money, control, freedom, and a base of angry pepole who are being used by their political and religious leaders as tools. No, this would not have happened in the US, or UK, or France, but because it's "islam" and we are "christian", but because we do not have the kind of poverty and lack of access to social systems, health care, political freedome, right to speech, etc that you find in most middle eastern and northern african countries. [6]

The emphasis is mine. Poverty and other problems were certainly a factor, violence by western Muslims over Rushdie and the Danish Cartoons was in the main less extreme than violence in poorer Muslim countries.

  1. We shouldn't simplify the problem down to, "It's all the fault of Islam".
  2. We shouldn't simplify the problem down to, "It's all to do with poverty powerlessness and the like" either. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:55, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
[EC} A good portion of this argument seems to be that religion isn't a factor in violence in many other places, so it isn't in this case either. I expect we have an argument on that fallacy somewhere here. Of course there are other factors, and of course poverty and oppression are significant, but there is a pretty pronounced religious factor here too. Think back to the Danish cartoons a few years ago. Can anyone think of an example of a significant number of members of another religion turning to violence because someone on the opposite side of the planet made fun of their faith? A substantial number of Muslims worldwide have this idea that their religion is not subject to mockery, or even any meaningful criticism. They have to get over that notion, fast. DickTurpis (talk) 19:00, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Course, it turns out that the violence had nothign to do with the protests. that was just an excuse. [7] Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 19:13, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
That may well the the case for the assassination of the Libyan ambassador, but what about the other instances? The Danish cartoons, for example? DickTurpis (talk) 19:26, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I still think it's part of the same situation. You are told how to think, in a seriously oppressive enviroment, and the only outlet you have is "they are mocking you", so you take it. I think it's very much like modern christian right saying "you are out to destroy my Christianity" when a woman says she wants birth control (just at a much lower level of control). You react cause you are told to. Again, the religion is not at fault, the people who USE IT TO CONTROL THE MASSES are at fault. Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 19:37, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
So we agree that religion itself, which is an abstract concept, is not to blame. Very well, but you do agree that there is a significant religious element, whether it includes the masses or just the leaders. The very fact that you can get people to say "you insulted my religion and must die for it" is a problem, even if they are cajoled into it by their betters. Does this happen with any other religion? At least when Christians get bent out of shape over stupid shit no one dies for it (we'll put the occasional abortion clinic related violence aside for now, as it's rare, usually condemned, and about a much bigger issue than mere disrespect), at least not that I can think of, and there are poor and oppressed Christians in the world. Islam appears to be unique in its widespread militant intolerance of criticism or mockery. I don't exactly know why that is; some of it no doubt comes from leaders using it to unite their people against another enemy other than themselves, but the fact they get away with it is disturbing. Additionally, it isn't only the poor and oppressed who engage in such violence. The 9/11 hijackers were largely middle class. Mohamed Atta was living in the free societies of Germany and the US for a decade previously, so he was not terribly poor or oppressed. There was a time when simply insulting Jesus could get you killed, but we're well past that. The Islamic world needs to catch up. DickTurpis (talk) 20:44, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
"At least when Christians get bent out of shape over stupid shit no one dies for it..." Uh, ever heard of Rwanda? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:02, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
That wasn't a response to some guy saying "Jesus is teh stoopid!" No one's saying Christians don't kill people, obviously, they just don't kill people over religious insults anymore. DickTurpis (talk) 21:25, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

I rarely support Godot but she made many valid points as well as oversimplifying here. We need to take action against the plutocrats who are destroying our planet. What can we do?? I don't know if Huffington is right or wrong but overall:-

  1. There's too much of a problem with Muslims expecting their religion to be above criticism.
  2. There's too much of a problem with Plutocrats messing up our planet.

Let's not oversimplify and blame just the one or just the other. Especially academics following the Scientific method shouldn't do such things. Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:25, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, there is something fishy about this -- as CNN reported, it's unknown whether the protest was instigated as cover for the attack or the killers were simply using it as cover. At the same time, Sufi religious sites are being vandalized or demolished, so the conflict is as much internal to Islam as it is external. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:55, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Cynical people manipulating desperately poor people is certainly part of the problem but so is the Islamic tradition of Jihad. Many Muslims include violent struggle against those who oppose Islam as part of Jihad, see What is Jihad? for more. Proxima Centauri (talk) 21:04, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/inflammatory-anti-muslim-movie-may-not-be-a-real - so there's suggestions this isn't even a real flim, and was intentionally created to make a scene that could be "faught" against? this might get very strange indeed. the date suddenly becomes intersting.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 21:14, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Goddamn, did someone really just use "memeplexes" without irony?
Shorter WaitingforGodot: "This is about human beings with complex, interconnected problems."
Shorter Proxima: "It's about intolerance memeplexes!"
Was there ever a more patently meaningless science buzzword? Godot's analysis, while perhaps incomplete, also implicitly offers solutions to the issue. "Strive to improve X, Y, and Z and things will get better." Whereas Proxima might as well be using Freudian psychoanalysis to claim all Muslims want to have sex with their mother for all the good it'll do. If a science about people can't be used to inform public health and safety, what the fuck good is it? Jesus weeps, Proxima. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 21:42, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Lulz, memes. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:10, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
relevant]. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 00:10, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

edit break 3 (AD arrives)

Innocence of Muslims is a bizarre operation. I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but it bears repeating if so: the cast and crew have denounced the film, because the trailer has been dubbed and re-pieced together from separate parts. The lead actress, for example, thought she was in a movie called Desert Warriors about Egypt. The producer is using a fake name and posing as an Israeli Jew, but probably also does not exist and is actually an American Christian. And last but not least, there is no reason to think that there is a full movie at all, beyond this trailer.[8] The movie appears to have been custom-made by one bigot to try to purposefully enrage Muslims, even down to lies about how it was funded by $5m from "Israeli donors."

When thinking about this, the best parallel I can think of is with race relations. I imagine a film produced by a white supremacist, cobbled together and over-dubbed from disparate fake film projects made by actors who were being lied to about the intentions, released under the name and alias of an upper-class Republican of the southern U.S., and purposefully rumored to have been funded by Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney. In the high-information atmosphere of America, it's hard to imagine this lie not being uncovered before anything bad happened, but in an America that has poorer communication and not many trusted media outlets, I can easily see race riots springing up in Cincinnati and Atlanta. And I don't think I would blame black people as a group for such rage-fueled and ignorant actions, or think that black people were more prone to violence because there are fewer white race riots.--ADtalkModerator 00:28, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

STOP INTERRUPTING OUR NARRATIVE EVERYONE KNOWS RELIGION IS THE PRIME MOVER OF VIOLENCE. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 01:51, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
The insinuations that religion - and in particular Islam - is not to blame for violence like this is patently absurd. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 10:27, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Religion may take part of the blame but it's wildly simplistic to put too much of the blame on Islam. It's like saying the Catholic church is to blame for the Northern Ireland Troubles. Hand waving away the very real problems with "look how awful the rag head nutters are" is burying your head in the sand. Bad Faith (talk) 11:06, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Religion is not the only thing to blame, but this shit would not have happened without it. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 11:13, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Just the whole religion? I mean, Bangladeshi aren't rioting. Indonesians aren't rioting. To my knowledge, there's no uproar over this matter in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Morocco, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Iran, Tajikistan, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Turkmenistan, Mali, Qatar, or Kuwait.
There is violence in Syria and the Sudan, of course. Is that violence due to Islam? No, probably not.
Hm, I don't know. It seems pretty hard to make a case that Islam or even religion overall are to "blame" for any specific incident of violence. There are a hell of a lot of factors involved. For example, until recently Libya was ruled by a dictator called Qaddafi, who kept an iron grip on much of the country, restricting freedoms in order to maintain his power. Bengahzi specifically was a hotbed of dissent and rebellion in the country, notorious for its uprisings, and in fact it was that city to which Qaddafi was rolling his tanks in a vow to exterminate the rebels - that was the action that brought US President Obama to a decision to intervene: Benghazi's rebellion and the threat of the city's extinction. Yet even though that might lead us to believe they should be grateful, it's a hugely different culture, not very liberalized, and it's riven by dissent and factions now as it tries to work its way to a stable government. There are Muslims standing near the embassy right now with signs apologizing - did Islam and their "profit" (as their badly-spelled signs have it) make them do that, as they say? Or does Islam only drive people to hurt people, and when Muslims charge forward and scoop up a shrouded body, to carry it to safety - well, that doesn't count?
I'm pretty sure that Islam is wrong and complete nonsense. It's so full of holes that I could use a Qu'ran to strain spaghetti. Most individuals, and certainly the world, would benefit if everyone stopped believing it - and this is probably true about most religions. But thinking someone is wrong is very different from believing that a certain belief is not just wrong, but dangerous. And to point at any specific incident and declare: "Islam did that!"... well, that's a damn hard call to make.--ADtalkModerator 11:16, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Blame was the incorrect word, fair enough. But - as I have said - this shit wouldn't have happened without religion. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 11:23, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah, you mean this shit wouldn't have happened without deeply held beliefs. Don't we all have those? It wouldn't have happened if the US didn't have an almost religious belief in the sanctity of free speech. Incidentally, such a film would be illegal in the UK. It's all too convenient and misses too may important points to wave it all away as the fault of those crazy rag heads - which may not be what you're saying but it's what you're saying sounds like. Bad Faith (talk) 11:43, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry but that is just a really stupid comparison. DickTurpis (talk) 11:48, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
It's not just "deeply held beliefs". We're talking about irrational, closed-minded beliefs that the majority of people would not hold if they were taught critical thinking skills and educated well enough from the start. Religion is not the only way to instill these beliefs in every new generation, but it sure is the most convenient. Q0 (talk) 14:37, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

edit break 4

An interesting discussion which real-life prevents me from getting too involved with. However, I'd just like to comment on the point that most of the violence seems to be from the poor and uneducated but the 9/11 hijackers were middle-class. Middle-class violence seems to be ideological and more considered and planned in its application, and confined to a small group, whereas the mob tend to react emotionally en masse to a stimulus. So even in the West we have the likes of the Unabomber, Baader Meinhof, or the SLA. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 16:51, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

There is a school of thought (is it Marx? I can never remember, it's political theory, therefore I generally don't give a crap) to the effect that you need the middle-class to incite revolution. There's only so much the proles can do on their own. So this may gel that idea somewhat. You incite not the poorest to do the dirty work, but those in the middle to effect a revolution. Scarlet A.pngtheistModerator 19:56, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
It's an interesting theory that deserves consideration certainly. The American Revolution would be a good example example, anyway. Perhaps not so much for the militant Islamists though? It was the Middle class doing the dirty work on 9/11. DickTurpis (talk) 20:37, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
But students did the "dirty" work in revolutions and attempted revolutions of yore. Half of Les Miserables is based around one. Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 21:04, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Just think of OWS: No proles allowed in our revolution! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:09, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
If Assad in Syria were to be sacked, what government entity can insure the safety and security of US embassy personal there? or the ancient Christian communities there? or will we have a replay of the same chaos under another weak, Western puppet regime as in Libya and Afghanistan, in dealing with the violent elements and the widespread anti-American sentiment fostered under the current administration in the Islamic world? nobsCorporations are people, too 00:08, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
If Assad in Syria were to be sacked, what government entity can insure the safety and security of US embassy personal there? or the ancient Christian communities there? or will we have a replay of the same chaos under another weak, Western puppet regime as in Libya and Afghanistan, in dealing with the violent elements and the widespread anti-American sentiment the fostered under the current administration in the Islamic world? nobsCorporations are people, too 00:08, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Considering how the Syrian resistance is heavily balkanized along a great many conflicted lines, I doubt that any serious independent authority will immediately arise. From recent coverage in The New Yorker, it seems fairly clear that a confused and dangerous turf war will arise as various groups try to maneuver behind straw men.
Unfortunately, there aren't really any good options for America when it comes to this. Hopefully, at least, Obama will be in office. I am not much of an interventionist, but Libya was about the best-possible scenario, and handled in an astoundingly competent manner - as contrasted with your other example, Afghanistan.
What would your preferred course of action be, assuming you weren't just asking for information? There is no united conservative view on foreign policy these days, except that whatever Obama does will be wrong: do you advocate supporting Assad, despite his monstrousness? Do you advocate removing him with assassination and letting someone else from his regime take over? Do you advocate forcible regime change, and if so, which faction would you install? Do you advocate long-term bombing of Assad's forces? Do you advocate a temporary and forceful strike on the regime forces, as Obama did in Libya? Do you advocate a simple no-fly zone, though it would be an empty gesture? Do you advocate doing nothing?
Just curious: what do you think should be done in Syria?--ADtalkModerator 00:35, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

I'll take Sam Harris's position. Beliefs are operative. Basically only Muslims become suicide bombers. There are no other confounding factors that might explain this difference. Sure, there are a lot of other factors that you also need in order to get a well adjusted Muslim to blow himself up, like poverty, lack of education, oppression, etc., but you need that Muslim part too. It is silly to say that if the people were Jains in a similar situation they would also be rioting as such. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:18, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

You're conflating one culture's enactment of a religion with the whole religion. And you're doing it in a grossly inaccurate way. A very short list, entirely off the top of my head:
WW2 featured kamikaze pilots, the so-called "divine wind" pilots who flew their planes into ships as living bombs in order to destroy their opponents. Islam had virtually no representation in Japan at the time.
In Vietnam, there were numerous suicide bombings, and it was so famous on that score that Graham Greene wrote a book about it. There were very few Muslim Vietnamese.
The anarchist movements of the long nineteenth century were famous for their suicide bombings, and in fact one of the Russian czars was killed by an anarchist's suicide bomb.
These three examples were widespread movements of suicide bombers, all from one segment of a population. Now, the Japanese reverence for authority was necessary for kamikaze bombers - do you condemn such values, as well? And do you condemn philosophical anarchists, because so many anarchists were suicide bombers? Clearly not. Because it would be remarkably simplistic and frankly a little silly to try to lay a particular tactic at the feet of any particular broad ideology.--ADtalkModerator 00:47, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I stand corrected. This is also misunderstanding of the main thrust of my argument, that religions beliefs are operative, just like any other cultural belief. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:57, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Also, I see an annoying aspect here - a sort of "No True Scotsman" by those trying to deflect blame away from religion. Different cultures and places have differing versions of their religion. These people are equating one Muslim to another Muslim, or one Buddhist to another Buddhist. The Buddhism of Tibet is (probably?) very different than the Buddhism of Burma. It's culture + religion. It's very hard to separate the two. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:18, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Finally, there is a definite disparity between the frequency and amount of violence from the western Christian abortion clinic bombers and the Muslims who will apparently at the drop of a hat demand the death of blasphemers, form mobs to that effect, demand the death of innocent 11 year old girls, kill in cold blood legislators who try to change the blasphemy laws, and so on. It is simply true that some cultures are more violent and less tolerant than others, and it is true (near definitionally) that this is because of the differing cultural values. And the religious values are part of the cultural values, and it's fair to say that the values of the cultures in question that make them so violent are often highly associated with their religion. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:18, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

"Basically only Muslims become suicide bombers." Fail. I wouldn't take Harris' position on Middle Eastern politics, or much else, too seriously, unless you enjoy being wrong about many things. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:30, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I referenced Sam Harris's particular argument in this case as a means of short-hand, rather than copy-paste wholesale. I do not take all of his opinions and belief as fact, contrary to your claim. Finally, there was the implicit argument that because Sam Harris wrong about X, he must also be wrong about Y; of course that's just silly. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:38, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Also, yes, I admit fault. Apparently Tamil Tigers did as well. This does nothing to help further your cause, nor detract from mine. You have not argued against the obviousness of certain beliefs being operative. You just showed that other beliefs besides Islam can lead to suicide bombings. I agree. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:40, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
See actual scholarship on suicide bombing. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:43, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
So, you completely discount all possible correlations between cultural beliefs and susceptibility to suicide bombing? LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:55, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I strongly suggest you read the linked paper, rather than trying to straw-man Neb into a statement that in no way resembles his actual words.--ADtalkModerator 01:07, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
"So, you completely discount all possible correlations between cultural beliefs and susceptibility to suicide bombing?" Nope. But now we've moved from "All suicide bombers are Muslims" to "there is some possible correlation between cultural belief and susceptibility to suicide bombing." Notice the difference? Also, the problem is that there is a negative correlation in this case. Suicide bombing is negatively correlated to religious education. See Atran's Talking to the Enemy. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:15, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes yes, sorry, I fully admit fault there. I was dead wrong. I spoke out of turn and out of ignorance. The suicide bomber thing is a side issue to me. I am curious whether you disagree with the main thrust of my argument that we can talk meaningfully about certain cultures and certain religions as being more prone to violence and intolerance, when compared to other cultures and religions. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 01:17, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
That does seem to probably be true. In the antebellum American South, for example, a tradition of dueling for honor - blamed by Mark Twain on the works of Sir Walter Scott - helped create a culture where violence among affluent young men was much more common than it otherwise would have been.--ADtalkModerator 01:20, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I definitely don't buy the kind of historical hyper-materialism that discounts the role of ideas in history. At the same time, I think talk of "culture" and "religion" is prone to falling into reification and circular reasoning. Much of the hand-wringing over "Islam" really centers around what has been called the "Arabization" of Islam and the exportation of Qutbism, a blatantly politicized theology. Note my post above referring to the militants' demolition of Sufi sites. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:46, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
ETA: I should also note that this also obviously applies to other cultures and religions. Critics of Christian fundamentalism in the US (and I'd say both theists and atheists are prone to this) often ignore the "Southernization" of Christianity. A Falwell has little in common with a Rauschenbusch. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:10, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

So, in sum, we have come to the conclusion that strongly held beliefs can cause people to committ seemingly outrageous acts of violence. True enough, but even knowing this I would say that I would still kill others or die for some of my strongly held beliefs; presumably others would too. So the issue in my mind is not the religion, nor the deeply held convictions but the process that derives the convictions, the quality of those convictions and the morality of killing others to stop them transgressing those convictions. If you can convince or correct any of these steps then you can, perhaps, start to solve the problem. Tielec01 (talk) 07:06, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

I just want to say I think this pretty much sums up what I've been arguing. DickTurpis (talk) 09:38, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
But that leaves the question as to whether those who murder because of offence to Islam are doing so because they're Muslims or because they would do so anyway and offence to Islam is the excuse. I'm no fan of religion but I tend to go with the latter. Bad Faith (talk) 10:53, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Mitt Romney's positions and statements

This may very well be a silly question, but I was wondering whether anyone thinks Mitt Romney actually believes much of the very conservative positions he appears to have and truly supports some of the awful statements he makes. He appears to have gotten more conservative the last several years and I'm wondering whether or not that's just to appeal to more of the right or because he himself is honestly shifting to the right. The statement he just made about the situation in Libya and Obama's supposed apologetic response, for example, do you think he really felt he should put it out there or do you think his staff and aids thought it would be good and pressed him to do it against his better judgement? Sam Tally-ho! 02:55, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

A lot of people have the impression that Romney will change views to get elected. And, he kinda has, with Obamacare, global warming and abortion. cf., Romney-Kennedy debates. The Libya thing is so awkward. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 03:16, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Romney believes whatever will get him elected. Prepare for more "double Guantanamo" moments. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:32, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Even The Economist, whose strong free-market views should make them allies of Romney, had a recent front-page headline "So, Mitt, what do you really believe?" The Dems need to do a better job of exploiting this obvious weakness. Doctor Dark (talk) 04:43, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Romney's not that much different than your average politician; it's just that he's much more transparent. He obviously does a lot "right" in his inner-party dealings, but his approaches to appeal to the public are laughable at best. The only thing the Republicans have to go off of this election - as of right now - is their bigotry toward and fear of Obama. And, while fear is the great motivator, it still looks nearly hopeless for them. I hope this Libya thing isn't supposed to be some sort of October surprise. Q0 (talk) 15:30, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
If Romney gets in (unlikely), rest assured that the loudest complaints would be from those to right of him - the Tea Party and all the fundies would be hideously disappointed by him. And the other truth is that America always has a right-of-center President. It's just that America's center is so far to the right, that right becomes left, sorry Socialism. DogP (talk) 22:58, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Kansas Board is debating Obama's position on the ballot

This would not matter a month ago, but ballots will be AT THE PRINTERS by Thursday, next, if they are to be slated into the print runs of the major printing companies. (there are only 5 or so such companies in the US). If the ballot does not get approved, or if they remove Obama - that's it. they cannot make the print deadlines. WTF. link--Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 01:00, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

While shameful, this is actually good news for Obama. Kansas' last state poll had Romney up by something like 17%, so there's almost no chance it was ever going to go for Obama - we're not talking about Ohio or Florida, here. Instead, if this becomes a major news story, it's going to look very bad for the GOP, who will look as though they're trying to cheat their way to victory (which arguably, they are). Be not afraid.--ADtalkModerator 01:04, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Except this stands to invalidate an entire ballot. House, Senate and down ticket items. But yes for o alone it's good news. How fuckers can push this shit at the last minute. I'm taking it somewhat personally, cause we have Persononhood Colorado suing to get on teh ballot. As i said, our ballots go to print in 9:50 slot on Monday at teh printer. The fiveish printers are so busy with national elections, you have literately a 1-2 hour slot (depending on the size of the job) for your ballots, then it's on to the next county/state. These people and their last minute BS stand to give some of us heart attacks or murder runs. not sure which.--Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 01:20, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
It's quite incredible the lengths to which Republicans are willing to go to keep people from voting for Obama (thinking also of the new state voter ID laws they're trying to push). Even if the guy who thinks Obama's not legally qualified to be president is sincere in his belief, the people actually considering the case and other similar ploys elsewhere are hardly bothering to disguise these shameful tactics anymore. It's unbelievable. Sam Tally-ho! 06:08, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Not enough bureaucrats. Smooth running of a democracy relies on having a large proportion of bureaucrats who don't have a dog in the race. Such bureaucrats would consider Godot's point salient, the most important thing is to hold an election and who cares which of Tweedledee and Tweedledum wins? Not the bureaucrats. But once you poison everything with party politics obviously this kind of thing is going to happen. Remember the US created the idea of Gerrymandering, because an elected official decides how to partition the vote in the next election. A child could see this won't work, but nobody credits the US electorate with a child's wisdom. But good luck electing someone who'll dismantle the system that elected them, check the history of England's Reform acts for how much fun it is doing that. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 09:31, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
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