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Posts posted by Mainframe

  1. Maybe. We'll see in 18 months, won't we? If the troops are still there in 2 years then start grumbling.


    Also, although I've already read Guns, Germs, and Steel, I'd like to see a good in-depth historical analysis of the ecology/geography of the Middle East leading up to the present day. This type of approach really puts politics in perspective.

  2. you cant keep occupying foreign countries to 'stabilize' the region and 'for political reasons' and expect to be able to have hunky dory results, when the fact that you are occupying their country is the cause of the insurgency.


    This is true, but I think Obama's angle is that we've already come so far. That's why he's sending so many troops, to really crush all opposition and create a condition of relative stability before withdrawing. I don't think this decision was premeditated, that he intended to escalate the occupation before he was even elected. I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision.


    This article raises a few valid questions but repeatedly makes huge jumps in logic to reach preconceived conclusions. I really hope you don't think this is good journalism.


    Also viewing the troop increase as "30k troops for 100 al qaeda" is totally bogus. I thought the point was to "win" the war, to the end that a stable, basically US-friendly regime is put in place. A puppet government, you might say. From what I've read Obama's military advisers favored a surge as the only way to wipe out entrenched guerrillas, including but not limited to al qaeda troops. It seems clear enough that if the US simply evacuated we would leave a decimated landscape with a major power vacuum seething with anti-western sentiment. I guess the fear is that if our government did that, an unfriendly regime would arise and begin harboring terrorists. I never supported entering Afghanistan, but, again, Obama inherited a shitty war out there. It doesn't matter whether or not he has authority to withdraw immediately, he has no choice but to play a very delicate political game. How hard is that to understand?


    In the greater picture these wars are of course a terrible way to address resentment of our country and probably contain some degree of ulterior motives, but this is what's going on.

  4. Since all verbal tone is lost on a message board, a lot of people come across as assholes when expressing opinions. People tend to sound more serious, and jokes aren't always obvious. I understand that.


    My degree is in Physics. I like to think "scientific" describes my approach to politics pretty well.

    • Like 1

  5. And your above any of that?


    Seriously man look in the mirror.


    This reminds me of someone else I used to go back and forth with in here. Constantly dishing out jabs and then when he gets one in return I am the immature one. You lump everyone that believes in liberty into one stereotype.


    Get the fuck out of here.


    You got it backwards dude. And this is about liberty? It sounds like you're just getting defensive. I don't have any type of strong political "beliefs" at all, but I do find that people who DO, (in this case the liberty lovers, bless em) have a tendency to twist the facts to support their beliefs. That goes for the overzealous all across the spectrum of political beliefs. It's kind of interesting. I'm about understanding the world and what is happening in it, not raging about how it fails to live up to my personal expectations and beliefs. I'm a scientist, not a politician.


    Ya we're all racists now too.


    Reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal, nice.


    I was just responding in kind. It's a joke, that's not really what I think you guys believe. I know I'm not arguing with racists. The Huxley thing, however, is a pretty egregious piece of ignorance. That doesn't concern you though.

  6. From that speech:


    "It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. This is the, it seems to me, the ultimate in malevolent revolutions shall we say, and this is a problem which has interested me many years and about which I wrote thirty years ago, a fable, Brave New World, which is an account of society making use of all the devices available and some of the devices which I imagined to be possible making use of them in order to, first of all, to standardize the population, to iron out inconvenient human differences, to create, to say, mass produced models of human beings arranged in some sort of scientific caste system. Since then, I have continued to be extremely interested in this problem and I have noticed with increasing dismay a number of the predictions which were purely fantastic when I made them thirty years ago have come true or seem in process of coming true."



    I realize this has nothing to do with Obama but in a roundabout way it's sort of relevant to the conversation regarding government and liberty and the way a few people around here perceive things.

  7. My bad on the family mix-up, I was actually basing that on your previous comments, I didn't read that bio you posted. That just means PCP wasn't relevant. That book didn't mention eugenics in any case.


    But anyway, it's not really up to debate whether Brave New World was a dystopia or not. Fact: he depicts a eugenics-based society as a bad thing. The book is taught that way in schools, and having read it twice I can say definitively that while Aldous Huxley considered eugenics a possible future reality, his book was a strong indictment of that possibility. Using an intellectual contemporary/family member's interests as a literary model in a satire should not be construed as support of said interests. I recall you saying you had read Brave New World. Maybe you should learn to understand what you read.


    Also, that speech indicates absolutely nothing to the contrary.

  8. ^That's Aldous' father you're talking about. He did not share his father's views. Actually, if you read Point Counter Point, there is a character based on Julian Huxley. He is depicted as well meaning but ultimately foolish, a bit too self-important and absorbed with his work, and far too scientifically detached from the realities of human society.


    That's not to mention the fact that Aldous Huxley penned a very popular dystopia condemning eugenics. Honestly casek, as much as I try to at least consider what you say on here, calling Aldous Huxley a eugenicist nazi is one of the dumbest things I've ever read on the internet. Unless you're trolling, in which case...good show.

  9. F the govt bullshit? a stand against tyranny is bullshit?

    for the record, im straightedge, so you can erase that 'smoke weed fuck the govt' statement.


    Well luckily you don't have to smoke weed to have half-baked ideas. I'm sure the fight against "tyranny" must make you feel very special.


    as i said in my other post...'but dooooood...he inherited it!' is the typical predictable DEFENSE of a lying politician.


    When it comes to war, it's more objective: the war was started by the previous president, and was still going on when Obama entered office. Thus, he inherited it. Quite simple.


    maybe you should just stop drinking the kool aid and actually listen to what the guy said...

    its only 15 sec.


    :rolleyes: Which war? Iraq? He also didn't give a time frame. Short clips like that are almost always out of context. Like that one where Obama supposedly calls for the creation of a civilian police force. Do you believe that one too?


    Anyway you didn't really respond to what I said, you just nitpicked. Beating around the bush isn't an effective way to argue.

  10. I also suspect that what I am content to call spirituality in this context is probably no more than another complex human emotion or emotive reaction, like deja vu, dreaming, etc. that will eventually be explained by future generations of neuroscientists.


    I find that explanation only enhances the "big mystery" feeling. There is another Einstein quote that I've already posted in this thread, but I'll post it again: "The religious feeling engendered by experiencing the logical comprehensibility of profound interrelations is of a somewhat different sort from the feeling that one usually calls religious. It is more a feeling of awe at the scheme that is manifested in the material universe."


    I guess I think it is a conceit of the educated to call this feeling fundamentally different from what the vulgar masses call religion. It is perhaps more refined, it avoids the messy turmoil and pervasive superstition of institutional religion, but I hesitate to say that my experience of the essential mystery is fundamentally different, or better, than that of a religious believer.

  11. Mainframe, if you were at all interested in whether I have any sort of spiritual feelings about the universe, the answer is yes


    Well that's what I was getting at. You're right that I am getting pretty far from conventional definitions of "god", but I think these definitions are up for debate anyway. The idea of "god" as defined by many religious institutions, popular superstition, Richard Dawkins, etc, meaning basically an omnipotent deity, bores me. I don't even think it's necessarily what "god" is fundamentally about. To me the idea of a religious visionary or prophet doesn't conjure up visions of some deranged lunatic raving about an imagined power in the sky. There is a Greek word anamnesis (literally "loss of forgetfulness) that I like to apply when considering the religious experience. I think visionaries - upon whom a great deal of religious tradition is based - might have simply had moments of deep spiritual feeling and ego-less clarity, in which they caught a glimpse of the infinite ineffability of sheer existence, which is yet contained within its own totality. I'll stop before I go rocketing off into the cosmos here, but hopefully you get my drift. I don't think it's a new or complex idea, really, everyone can relate to it in some way. Also I think some of Einstein's writings on the subject were very good: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

  12. God as "everything" (whatever that means)


    I think perhaps you're glossing over this one too much. What about god as "everything" experienced through your own sensory input and, if you like, information gleaned from science? The concept of god doesn't have to have any concrete explanatory power. Many, if not most, religious stories are allegorical. The god of the visionary is the infinite perceived in the ordinary. It doesn't fill any psychological holes, it is simply a humble recognition, perhaps reverence, of the conditions (known and unknown) of our existence. Some people say that they don't need the idea of god (and nobody has to call it by that name), but I think what they mean to say is that they don't need the institution of the church, or religious codes. I think it's ironic that intellectual abstraction from the idea of god can lead people to miss the point entirely.

  13. ^^ my problem with this line of thought....


    everyone here licking obama's boots and worshipping him, defending him no matter what he does.... what if mad bomber mccain or bush were in office right now. what if the 'military officials in command' tell mccain or bush that we need to stay in there for 100 years? would you still support this? would you still say the same thing? that the officials have the intelligence needed so they are obviously doing what is right. stated simply, why are republicans evil if they engage in and continue war and why are democrats given the nobel peace prize as great anti war-riors for doing the exact same thing.


    Stop trying to polarize the discussion. I've said it a million times, I'm not a rabid obamaphile, if anything I approach politics as an academic exercise; to me it's not "let me argue for what I believe in," it's "let me determine what is going on in the world and how it's going down." I'm defending Obama from unfair, premature attacks made in here that are very obviously based on preconceived notions and unrealistic ideals. Instead of having a thread full of cliche "rah rah rah fuck Obama, politicians lie bro smoke more weed fuck the government" bullshit, I've tried to steer debate toward this little thing called 'nuance." Here:



    I don't discriminate, white republican presidents can make good and bad decisions too. I don't think Bush was a bad person or even necessarily a total "liar." I do think he was unfit for the position, but most people are. If anyone said we need to stay in Afghanistan for 100 years I would disagree with that. That is pretty obvious. Obama says his plan is to increase troops in order to get the thing done and finally be able to pull them out. I probably would have supported withdrawal, but it seemed to be a choice between total withdrawal and massive buildup, so let's see if this works. Also, as I've said before, starting two wars is completely different than what Obama is doing. He inherited the situation. Cutting the cord would entail a LOT more problems than you seem to realize. On the other hand, it might end up being the lesser of two evils. I don't think he deserved the Nobel Peace prize, but I don't think it means all that much.


    not to mention the huge fact that is glossed over. this is an illegal unconstitutional war. it is undeclared. bush and obama have no right to use 'military tribunals' legally, because there is no declared war. if you are engaged in an illegal undeclared war that you campaigned on bringing to an end, why are you increasing troops and continuing it? to busy protecting drug fields in 'stan i guess.


    I can't say I "believe" in the constitution. All I know is that the war IS going on, and Obama has a responsibility to handle it in a globally responsible fashion. Will he succeed? Maybe. He might even fail massively, but I don't necessarily think the sky is falling. Also, he campaigned on ending the wars responsibly, not immediately. He said Afghanistan was a war worth fighting during his campaign. I'm not sure about that, but we'll see whether it turns into a slog or finally wraps up. I'm not going to even respond to the drug fields comment until I see some real, reasonably unbiased information supporting it.

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