wood burning stoves*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Questions Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Reply locked New topic
Author

Questions

Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
ME: I want the administration to explain to me why I'd watch my son go out to defend Kuwait, because that's where the test lies for me (albeit for me that reality is still 10 years or so away).
That's easy. Oil. A lot of Americans will die without oil. The economy will collapse without oil. That is certainly something worth fighting for.
ME: I'm not saying something unsavory happened. I'm saying no one really looked, and that's a black eye on journalism. You're supposed to ask all sorts of unpopular, chafing questions. All the time. That's the job.
You must have not been paying attention. Sure there was some rah-rahing going on but didn't you bother reading the editiroal pages of any of the glossies? Or did you stop at the entertainment section?


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Michael Morris:

You that young ME? I signed up in '71 during that conflagration we called Viet Nam. I must admit that for the two years that I was eligible, I drew lottery numbers in the 300s and was much relieved. I hope we never go back to a conscripted military. I know that I wouldn't want my sons to be forced into service, but would support them if they decided to volunteer. It seems to me that an all volunteer system is a better way to go because in theory they are willing to lay it all on the line.

Yep, a mere 40 this year, a whippersnapper.
I did have in those years the pleasure of knowing one or two guys that really, really, really wanted to look death in the face, figure their wya out of a withering cross-fire and all that romanticized crap. Outside of being willing to fight for actual Americans, no thanks. The four years I spent here were exciting enough I suppose, but the community benefit was immediate and clear and that was good for me.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

TP: Oil. A lot of Americans will die without oil. The economy will collapse without oil. That is certainly something worth fighting for.
ME: Tell me A lot of Americans will die without Kuwaiti oil, Thomas. Tell me that domestic oil production doesn't in fact benefit from the high production costs of imported oil to maintain a seriously fat margin on the local product. Tell me we're incapable of getting oil from other suppliers.
If the message were that clear and frank, I doubt the big loser would be Grandma Bea having to rough out a winter in the northeast; it would Amoco and company, looking at thinner profits. And while I certainly see the economics that come into play with any war, it's a whole lot harder to fight for high corporate profit, or in Bob Dole's words, "business that makes sense," than it is to fight for home and hearth.
ME: I'm not saying something unsavory happened. I'm saying no one really looked, and that's a black eye on journalism. You're supposed to ask all sorts of unpopular, chafing questions. All the time. That's the job.
TP: You must have not been paying attention. Sure there was some rah-rahing going on but didn't you bother reading the editorial pages of any of the glossies? Or did you stop at the entertainment section?
ME: Editorials come before the entertainment section in those magazines, don't they? In any event, who's talking about opinion columns? I'm talking about investigative frontline journalism, people asking tough questions in the middle of a lot of shit. Or rather, I asking why journalists aren't asking, which is part and parcel to the discussion HS started.
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Borking" the Fairness Doctrine"
When George W. Bush moved into the White House, he named Colin Powell's son, Michael, to head the Federal Communications Commission. And Powell is diligently carrying on the work, begun by the prior Bush administration, and the Reagan administration before that, to highly limit the free flow of information.
The purpose is simple and obvious. For a contingent of right wing ideologues, who are unable to sway public opinion through the strength of their arguments in open debate, and thereby garner support in the ballot box, they are attempting to restrict dissent, to the extent that only one viewpoint will be heard. This is the second of a two pronged attack upon regulations designed to free our news sources for vital public and national discourse, and to prevent them from becoming institutions of propaganda.
Powell's refusal to enforce FCC regulations that prohibit a single corporation from controlling vast segments of the news market, regulations designed to insure that a diversity of voices would always be heard, is now allowing Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., an avid supporter of the radical right wing, to reach an astounding 41 percent (up from the regulatory limit of 35 percent) of the nation's news market, through Murdoch's bid to buy out television owner Chris-Craft. The refusal to engage "the rule of law" affects not only the broadcast media, but the print media as well.

Breeding a press of water carriers - The Aquarius Age

Thomas Jefferson even went so far as to write: If it were left to me to decide whether we should have a government without a free press or a free press without a government, I would prefer the latter. Belief in the importance of a press free of governmental control has remained constant throughout American history. It is the reason why, among other things, the United States has no ministry of information to regulate the activities of journalists; no requirement that journalists be registered; and no requirement that they be members of a union.


The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom...of the press." Although the First Amendment specifically mentions only the federal Congress, this provision now protects the press from all government, whether local, state or federal.
The founders of the United States enacted the First Amendment to distinguish their new government from that of England, which had long censored the press and prosecuted persons who dared to criticize the British Crown. As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart explained in a 1974 speech, the "primary purpose" of the First Amendment was "to create a fourth institution outside the government as an additional check on the three official branches" (the executive branch, the legislature and the judiciary).


FOCUS - Freedom of Press and Information
The performance of the press during Watergate was held as the mirror that reflected the best that journalism could offer to democracy: holding power accountable. It became a trend in American newsrooms. The profession enjoyed high credibility in the years that followed, and a remarkable increase in journalism school enrollment occurred.
Almost three decades later, the situation has changed. Investigative journalism does not seem to be the brightest star in the firmament of American news.

Why Democracy Needs Investigative Journalism
Interesting that the last two links are from the usinfo.state.gov site.
I haven't been able to find how the British media are regulated or whether Rupert Murdoch owns any British news network. The House of Lords does have some power in controlling such cross-vesting of interests. The Times online site is crap as is their search engine and has more goods to sell on the front page than you would expect of a credible newspaper. Perhaps the news is under all that garbage. So does the BBC site but at least you can navigate that easily.

"Almost all the animals had a very bad memory so they were not able to remember things of major signifigance. After a little while the pigs would mention the past and the animals would not remember what had happened so they would agree with the pigs. The the battle of cowshed, snowball was a very herioic animal in that battle but Neapolean said that that was not true that there memory had deceived them, that snowball was just trying to get them to trust him because he was in connection with Mr. Jones. Also the pigs had changed the commandments. When the animals saw the commandments when they have been changed the pigs convinced them that they were wrong. So even though some animals knew how to read they would not have remembered very clearly what the commandments really said.
The pigs where also very convinceing. They were alway able to get out of any situation. The best talker of all the pigs was Squaler. He was always able to convince that animals that what every they had done the do for the good of all the animals and not just for themselves. Just like when the pigs had taken the milk and apples for themselves, they said that they only took it was because they needed it and that if they did not have it they would not be able to help operate the farm, he also added that the pigs did not actually like the milk and apples but they had to eat it. They rest of the animals believed them because they did not know what else to think. The pigs where also able to convince them that they had not changed the commandments and that there memory had deceived them and that that is what it had always said. This tactic of convincing them really helped them alot in taking over the farm for without the rest of the animals support the pigs would not have gotten control of the farm."

--- abstract of Animal Farm
regards
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
ME: I want the administration to explain to me why I'd watch my son go out to defend Kuwait
TP: That's easy. Oil. A lot of Americans will die without oil. The economy will collapse without oil. That is certainly something worth fighting for.
At last - The Unpalatable Truth!
Is HS Thomas really stupid enough to think that the US military targeted journalists?
Its part of a covert RME scheme - Recruit More Embeds
So the hotel is in a war zone surrounded by comabt activity and one shell grazes the hotel and wounds 4 journalists ... There we had a whole hotel full of them and all we could manage was to wound four lousy journalists.
You have to be careful, make it look like an accident. Anyway, sometimes a near miss is all you need.

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Any non-combatant who willingly places himself into a war zone is an idiot ... What makes [the press] think they are so special, or worthy of protections not afforded anybody else?
I'm glad the press were there, and they're as worthy of not getting shot up as any other non-combatant in a warzone.
US forces are not going to wait until somebody shoots to determine whether or not that thing that looks like a weapon from a distance and is being pointed at them really is a weapon.
I remember a picture of a press crew in Israel with camera and sound equipment that certainly looked like a weapon (just before they got shot-up). However, an important part of being a soldier, IMO is learning when not to shoot. Yeah, fine for me to say while sitting at my desk, but the onus should be on the Army NOT to shoot innocents, even when they feel at risk. A kill or be killed attitude serves the combatants, not the people.

Note: Has anyone seen any stats on press deaths in this conflict compared with other conflicts? If we had some figures we could give this hide-the-truth conspiracy theory some real balls!
[ November 03, 2003: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
quote of some John Simpson bullshit

So, let me get this straight, some reporter who has quite often shown an anti-American bias, who has had a problem with American forces going back to run-ins with American mercenaries in Angola in the 70's, who further lashed out at American troops during Bosnia, who was wounded in a friendly-fire incident by US F-14's in the vicinity of Iraqi tanks, and who has made such self-agrandizing pronouncements such as him singlehandedly saving the life of an innocent Iraqi man from a US soldiers rifle, and that he and the BBC singlehandedly liberated Kabul, has anything worthwhile to say on this subject? It's amazing somebody still gives this turd a paycheck.
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
It's amazing somebody still gives this turd a paycheck.
Map, can you make a "Is John Simpson a turd" poll please?!!
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
In the interview, Simpson also reminisces on his previous assignments and criticises both the US and British forces for their conduct during the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s.
"It was terrible, horrifying and wicked. It was a war crime that went on for three years and was appalling. I didn't feel that Britain or the Americans came out of it very well, and I don't think the BBC covered itself in glory," he said.

How's that for fair reporting ? Extracted from the same Simpson on trigger happy troops link.
I am not sure where Jason found Simpson suggesting Simpson single-handedly liberated Kabul.
regards
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
I am not sure where Jason found Simpson suggesting Simpson single-handedly liberated Kabul.

'BBC liberated Kabul' says Simpson
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Richard: Map, can you make a "Is John Simpson a turd" poll please?!!
I probably could, if you are serious
I am just afraid this thread will turn to something complitely different by tomorrow morning.
--------------------
"Now we are left with nothing better than barking at each other." - Eugene Konnonov


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Tragedy vs Statistics
I like this Don Murray, CBC Correspondent.
The way governments deflect the heat is to launch public inquiry afterwards. I came across it while looking for statistics on deaths of correspondents in previous wars wrt Richard's request..
Richard: As to the RME comment , AMQ more like..Ask More Questions. An embed would worry about being shot by some trigger happy embedders.
I had seen one link before. While this was a short war (is the Iraqi war really over ?) the proportion of deaths in this war was quite high. The other wars covered were WWII and Vietnam wars. Hope I come across it again.
Some humour or is this reality :
Journalism Schools To Replace Curriculum EntirelyTo Offer Classes In Googling, Blogging, Yahooing, and Drudging
It would be a sad day when you need to check who is owning the media before you can trust the news. They would then be employing some knee-jerk reporters which would make very dull news anyway.
regards
[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
I am not sure where Jason found Simpson suggesting Simpson single-handedly liberated Kabul.
Have you not heard of the BBC Paratroopers?
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I probably could, if you are serious
Actually I was only half kidding
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
On Simpson liberating Kabul : (from the link Jason gave above)

"However, Simpson said it was not so much a case of the alliance having "firm" control of the city, but rather that "nobody else has".
Simpson has been on the ground covering the conflict since it started. He was also the first western journalist to get behind enemy lines, when he entered Taliban-controlled Afghanistan on the back of a truck, dressed in a burkha.
In a career spanning 32 years, Simpson has reported from 101 countries, during which he has been gassed in the Iran-Iraq war and shot at in Tiananmen Square in Beijing."

Kate Adie has gone freelance reporting since the initial Iraq conflict.
Simpson is a roving reporter, though linked to the BBC. Some reporters have the knack for being there at the right time. All the same I was taken back by his comment on the BBC liberating Kabul. I'll certainly follow that news elsewhere.
Are the news crews allowed to be compassionate and humane in such situations or just make sure that shit gets kicked ?
The age of war reporting has moved on it would seem. See Thomas, I am avoiding the words "is clear","no doubt".
regards
[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
The Times Onlinehas become a business , if that's the front page.
Yahooing on news items doesn't throw up any British Times, or Independent links or has Yahoo typecast my PC !
: paranoia :
The other faces of the times
and the Sunday Times
Not that I am saying the Times or Independent is not fair, yahoo and google just bring the Guardian and the NYC Times links to the fore and I usually just search the first page. Obviously I need to ask more questions of Yahoo / Google
Here's a possible summary of the above: Disclaimer: It is pure surmising and nothing is confirmed.
The journalists needed to use out-dated equipment in Iraq given that the internet and other means of transmitting news may not have been available OR new equipment would have been a security risk.
US military warned the journalists of the dangers of up-linking and offered an embedding program for reporters. Some reporters were unhappy about this as it didn't offer the necessary detachment to do their job as they saw it. Some events got out of hand and embedded and non-embedded journalists were killed (questions still remain to be answered regarding these by the US military. Some of the answers to date have not been bought by the news media. Those American media in the business for the truth were also pissed about this and most left Baghdad before the hotel incident.In lists of journalists dead I have not seen any American journalists).
What could be learnt from this? Journalists need to find some discrete means for transmitting information. Cable and satellite would be out.
The internet may offer some options but any military could find objections to that too.
Until these issues are resolved expect to see only news that the military approves of. As for media giants, the consumer (of news and other goodies) can always do what they always did. Be a lot more discerning and boycott the offending media. If a channel package offers one channel that is dubious don't buy the whole package. Commerce being what it is you will eventually find a package to suit.(Boycotting means - Try and be informed to a wider opinion just don't feed it financially ,local libraries keep local newspapers of all local views. The British Library and others have every possible publication. This way you can also make sure your favourite media upholds it's truth standards.The truth / propoganda ratio should swing things to truth. What's the saying : You can lie to some of the people some of the time, You can lie to some of the people all the time but you CANNOT lie to ALL the people ALL the time.)
It's not as difficult as one might think. Find the media that is interested in getting to the truth. :roll:
(Ultimately, that is what any society wants, I cannot imagine any wanting to live a lie and there are fundamental truths upheld by all human beings)
And fair search engines, ISPs ,IXPs and routers will follow ! Fairer technology and fairer government! As yet we have only one planet to live on.
Jason ,this thread looks interesting. Spidering Hacks
Does O'Reilly provide news as well?.
regards
[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
C'mon Paul, don't pull punches now! Ask me where my outrage is over Somalia, too.
I presume you wonder if my "outrage" is directed only at the doings of all things Republican in the Oval Office. You can assume, for the sake of argument, I hold the same "my son on the line" test to any standing President.
I signed up for Selective Service in 1981 because that was the law, but I wasn't happy about it; I don't remember too many class of '81's that were. But would I have gone to Iran to liberate American hostages? I would have enlisted for that mission. Semper Fi, hoo rah. Military service in my family is a tradition. You can count a World War II SeaBee, a Korean War pilot, and a Vietnam Marine among me and mine. The only mistake I made that my Uncle (the Marine) didn't: he told the family after he enlisted. Had I known that and followed suit, I'd probably be a nice 5'8", 210-pound rage-driven leatherneck right now. As my family was quick to point out, I might like hell as much as my Unc but was a lot more likely to take it personally. Couldn't really argue with that. (And I can still remember that look on my mother's face. Wow.)
But the Falklands? Well, I can tell you I signed up for Selective Service because that was the law. I can also tell you I looked up what a Conscientious Objector was defined as, and tried to figure out how to qualify. Unfortunately, thinking a conflict is "stupid" doesn't qualify. Which should tell you how it was my family stopped me on the way to the recruiting office...not exactly a rank-and-file thinker. Willing to fight, but let's not get stupid. What precisely do my family and my country get by defending a tiny island group off the coast of Argentina?

What a bunch of BS. You know you and the rest of the left didn't speak up about Haiti or Bosnia because it was a Dem in office. The only protests came from the hypocrits on the right not the ones on the left.
I thought that the Falklands was a British operation.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
ME: Tell me A lot of Americans will die without Kuwaiti oil, Thomas. Tell me that domestic oil production doesn't in fact benefit from the high production costs of imported oil to maintain a seriously fat margin on the local product. Tell me we're incapable of getting oil from other suppliers.
This doesn't even make any sense. If there was less world wide oil production that would drive prices up therefore increasing the margin on the local product. Which suppliers would you like us to get our oil from if we remove the Middle East? Bermuda? And remember that we weren't just talking about Kuwait. Saudi Arabia was right there.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
But the Falklands? Well, I can tell you I signed up for Selective Service because that was the law. I can also tell you I looked up what a Conscientious Objector was defined as, and tried to figure out how to qualify. Unfortunately, thinking a conflict is "stupid" doesn't qualify. Which should tell you how it was my family stopped me on the way to the recruiting office...not exactly a rank-and-file thinker. Willing to fight, but let's not get stupid. What precisely do my family and my country get by defending a tiny island group off the coast of Argentina?

You would certainly have to be not exactly a rank-and-file thinker if you were hesitant about joining the American military because you thought that the Falkland's War between Great Britain and Argentina was a stupid conflict.
Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
I thought that the Falklands was a British operation.

The Falklands was a British war. The American military was not involved.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Maybe Michael wanted to join the Royal Navy?
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Paul Stevens:

What a bunch of BS. You know you and the rest of the left didn't speak up about Haiti or Bosnia because it was a Dem in office. The only protests came from the hypocrits on the right not the ones on the left.

Paul, if you already had in mind the only answer you would accept to the question you asked me, you hardly need ask it.

I thought that the Falklands was a British operation.

Shows you how closely I follow these little dust-ups, regardless of who's running them.
[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
This doesn't even make any sense. If there was less world wide oil production that would drive prices up therefore increasing the margin on the local product. Which suppliers would you like us to get our oil from if we remove the Middle East? Bermuda? And remember that we weren't just talking about Kuwait. Saudi Arabia was right there.

It made sense enough to dozens of people I knew in the mid- and late-80's who were heavily invested in domestic oil. You don't need a naturally limited supply if you some other kind of choke. Enter OPEC, which gets together to decide how much oil the cartel as a whole will release over some period of time. This is what sets the stage for pricing, not the actual availability of oil worldwide.
The investors I knew were invested in domestic oil for precisely that reason. OPEC set prices, and oil firms in the US (and elsewhere, I imagine) quietly take advantage by introducing domestic oil into the market at prices set by OPEC. It's quite shrewd and quite profitable.
The point here is margins. OPEC, much like deBeers, studies the market to determine just how much it will bear. Too high a price for too long, and you persuade your customers to spend the bucks it takes to develop other sources. A colleague of mine who developed several proposals for oil companies in the US tells me there's certainly no foreseeable shortage of oil, just a foreseeable shortage of really-cheap-to-get oil.
Kuwait is not all of the Middle East, Thomas, nor do they represent complete control over our oil supply. But put that aside for the moment, Thomas: given the choice between sending your sons to "liberate" Kuwait in the early 90's and now "liberate" Iraq -- which, if we can all remember, was allegedly about finding the roots of contemporary terrorism, then WMDs, and now about greeting the business end of every rocket launcher around -- and spending the last 13 years finding your way out of the shit of the Middle East, which would you rather have done?
I offer you the luxury of hindsight here: you think two expensive wars and however many dead US soldiers are better than spending on developing alternative, possibly more expensive, oil resources, knowing it would upset the margins domestic oil producers now enjoy? Granted, you'd have to allow for that last scenario to answer completely. If that feels traitorous to you, it's ok, I'll get you a commission in Her Majesty's fleet if you need it.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
given the choice between sending your sons to "liberate" Kuwait in the early 90's and now "liberate" Iraq -- which, if we can all remember, was allegedly about finding the roots of contemporary terrorism, then WMDs, and now about greeting the business end of every rocket launcher around -- and spending the last 13 years finding your way out of the shit of the Middle East, which would you rather have done?
What amazes me is how short the memory is of certain people. After 9/11, Bush said that this is a war against terrorism EVERYWHERE not just in Afghanistan and not just against Al Queda. He even specifically mentioned Iraq as being one of the states he intended on taking down. I fully support him now just as I fully supported the liberation of Kuwait in 1990. You see, I have friends who died in the World Trade Center. I spent 10 years of my life working in those towers. I have been to the site and placed flowers in the ruins. Sadaam may not have been directly involved in the WTC but he was involved in terrorism, of that there is no question. Whther it is terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, or Syria they all represent the same thing.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

TP: After 9/11, Bush said that this is a war against terrorism EVERYWHERE not just in Afghanistan and not just against Al Queda.
ME: I thought we went into Iraq because they refused to allow inspections for WMDs, and we had said their time was up: come clean or we'll count them for you. Is that what you're calling a war on terror?
TP: I fully support him now just as I fully supported the liberation of Kuwait in 1990.
ME: Would you send your children to fight in Iraq today? I'm not asking would you bless them if they decided to go; would you encourage them to go?
TP: You see, I have friends who died in the World Trade Center. I spent 10 years of my life working in those towers. I have been to the site and placed flowers in the ruins.
ME: And in the name of those killed and the violation of our soil, you now want to kick ass wherever your fury leads you? If a man on the street kills your friend with a thrown rock and runs away, and the guy standing next to him laughs, do you announce your intention to kill the guy that was standing there, then systematically go about the business of killing everyone between you and him? Are all those people killers too, because they got in your way?
TP: Sadaam may not have been directly involved in the WTC but he was involved in terrorism, of that there is no question. Whther it is terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, or Syria they all represent the same thing.
ME: Is it imperative that we "take down" all those countries in order to set the world at ease? Failing that, will the lives lost in the WTC attack be avenged only when these four countries have been taken?
This war on terrorism sounds very much like the game plan for the war on drugs: hugely expensive, no concrete objectives to measure effectiveness, and always more 'enemies' to replace the ones we've caught. Maybe it's time to admit that getting all John Wayne and Randolph Scott, while emotionally satisfying to some, won't actually solve anything.
[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
From the link a few posts above, given here again : Tragedy vs Statistics

Josef Stalin wasn't a nice man but he had a way with words: "The death of one man is a tragedy; the death of a million is a statistic."
[David Kelly's] suicide has shaken the British government and exposed it to unprecedented public scrutiny.
Desperate times require desperate remedies. The remedy of desperation chosen by Prime Minister Tony Blair to deal with this tragedy was that of the public inquiry, chaired by a man above suspicion and far from politics. And so Lord Hutton, a senior judge, began hearing testimony daily from the highest and most secretive officials in a government noted for secrecy.
It is extraordinary theatre: one British all-news channel dramatizes each day's testimony with actors each evening in prime time. Tens of thousands of people read the daily questions and answers on the inquiry Web site.
It is, critics say, both riveting and distracting. And that, they believe, is its point. Listen to this: "The Hutton inquiry has the features of a pretty big lie. It creates a huge furore´┐Ż.Thus has Blair sought to persuade a gullible public that a narrow, ultimately trivial, matter is the alpha and omega of the greatest public scandal in half a century." That is Hugo Young, senior columnist for The Guardian.
The ultimately trivial matter is the death of a scientist. The "greatest public scandal in half a century," according to Young, is the way Blair and his political cohorts inflated and ultimately misrepresented the danger posed by Saddam Hussein in order to push Britain into a war.
Britain helped its American big brother win the campaign on the battlefield. But winning campaigns have a way of blowing up in British faces. And the remedy prime ministers turn to is public inquiries.
Britain won its last colonial war 21 years ago in the Falkland Islands. Yet so ill-prepared was the country for that war that the prime minister of the day, Margaret Thatcher, resorted to a public inquiry to deflect some of the heat.
It served its purpose. Its chairman, Lord Franks, described in detail how Britain had left the islands defenceless against an Argentine attack, had misread all the military signals pointing to invasion, and then, in a sentence worthy of Pontius Pilate, washed the government's hands of all responsibility: "We would not be justified in attaching any criticism or blame to the present government."
Iraq, too, has burned a previous government and burned it so severely that it was forced to resort to an inquiry. This was the Scott inquiry into the so-called arms-for-Iraq scandal. In the mid-1990s, in secret defiance of UN sanctions, British firms, with the knowledge and approval of the British government, were supplying Saddam Hussein's regime with weapons and parts. Then customs officials, not in on the secret, caught some of the illegal consignments.
To protect itself, the government decided to put the bosses of the guilty company on trial, despite the fact that they had had the green light from government. The bosses, naturally, were furious and wanted to call government ministers as witnesses in their defence. The government invoked national security to try to prevent his. The judge smelled a rat and the trial collapsed.
The stink was so great that then-prime minister John Major set up a public inquiry. Like Blair, Major had to testify.
Sir Richard Scott produced a mighty report of 1,800 pages detailing the government's complicity in acts illegal under international law. Then he went Lords Franks one better: he produced no conclusion at all. The Major government survived, only to be slaughtered at the polls the next year by Blair and his Labour party. They came to power proclaiming they would do things differently, more honestly and more openly.
Instead, like previous governments, they have been forced to seek to relieve the heat with another public inquiry. Under pressure from Lord Hutton, the Blair government has certainly had to be open: the flood of e-mails and documents released by the inquiry give students of British politics the clearest real-time picture they have ever had of decision-making in London. The picture isn't always pretty but power often isn't.
The question of honesty is more difficult: it goes to the heart of much of the testimony at Hutton's inquiry. Did the Blair government deal honestly with the question of arms of mass destruction, did it deal honestly with its own civil servant? The judge will weigh the evidence but may only answer the second question. The first appears to be beyond his terms of reference. That is what infuriates the critics.
The jury to weigh that question will have to be the British public.

Inquiries are a further waste of tax-payers money unless steps are taken to ensure the tragedy/statistic doesn't happen again.
regards
[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
This war on terrorism sounds very much like the game plan for the war on drugs: hugely expensive, no concrete objectives to measure effectiveness, and always more 'enemies' to replace the ones we've caught. Maybe it's time to admit that getting all John Wayne and Randolph Scott, while emotionally satisfying to some, won't actually solve anything.

No doubt you have a solution then? Maybe we should all just be friends, join in a big circle hand-in-hand, and sing the Barney song? If not that, how about appeasement? It's been so successful in the past. Maybe we should just ignore them and hope they go away? I know, we can be like many of our "friends" and hope against all odds that if we don't piss them off, maybe they'll just leave us alone and pick on somebody else instead. Oh that's right, we're the ones responsible for terrorism in the first place, so the answer must be to figure out what it is that we are doing to force these poor downtrodden souls to blow themselves up and murder thousands of innocent men, women, and children, and put a stop to these evil policies of ours.
Does the left have anything that even remotely resembles a viable alternative to proactively engaging terrorists and the states that support them?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Michael, since you obviously know exactly what I think I see no reason to bother talking to you. Meanwhile, I have to go back to my office in the CIA and see what else I can do to drive up oil profits while outsourcing all the Java jobs to Uzbekistan.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Um, that's cool. Seems that we *all* pissed off... Whom? Us all. That's really cool.
--------------------
"Now we are left with nothing better than barking at each other." - Eugene Konnonov
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Michael, since you obviously know exactly what I think I see no reason to bother talking to you. Meanwhile, I have to go back to my office in the CIA and see what else I can do to drive up oil profits while outsourcing all the Java jobs to Uzbekistan.

Thomas, I don't see where I have tried to tell you what you think.
You don't have to answer the questions I have posed if you don't want to, but I'd like to know in what parts of my response I was telling you what you think. As I read that response, I'm questioning the motivation behind your position, certainly, and I'm asking if you've thought it through to what seem to be their logical conclusions. And I'm also trying to tell you how I interpret these same events.
If you're still listening, point to where you think I am telling you what's on your mind.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

JM: No doubt you have a solution then?
ME: Is this Proof by Shifting the Burden of Proof? I don't offer a solution, therefore a) I have no right to question the current program; or b) the current program must be the best available choice; or c) both?
JM: Maybe we should all just be friends, join in a big circle hand-in-hand, and sing the Barney song? If not that, how about appeasement? It's been so successful in the past. Maybe we should just ignore them and hope they go away?
ME: This doesn't strike me merely as Proof by Sarcasm, but if the only two choices you are suggesting are blasting people off the face of the earth or surrendering to them, I'd call it a Proof by Limited Options.
JM: I know, we can be like many of our "friends" and hope against all odds that if we don't piss them off, maybe they'll just leave us alone and pick on somebody else instead.
ME: I wouldn't put it past us. It took a Libyan-funded attack in Paris to wake up the French, back in the days of Qaddaf. Then it was ok to bomb Tripoli, wasn't it? But I think it's clear we've already removed that approach from our own list of choices.
JM: Oh that's right, we're the ones responsible for terrorism in the first place, so the answer must be to figure out what it is that we are doing to force these poor downtrodden souls to blow themselves up and murder thousands of innocent men, women, and children, and put a stop to these evil policies of ours.
ME: See, the general problem with "the left" and "the right" -- and unless it's purely in the name of baiting each other for sport, I hardly see the point of insisting on these polarizations -- is this: if this is the only thing "the right" can hear "the left" saying, the road to both compromise and sound, long-term policy will simply be about who's swinging the biggest dick when the vote comes around. If this kind of generalization were really intended to evoke a clearer, more persuasive point from whomever you deem to be the opposition, it would be useful. But all I hear in it is ridicule.
JM: Does the left have anything that even remotely resembles a viable alternative to proactively engaging terrorists and the states that support them?
ME: I don't speak for the left. I am not interested in whether the left has a credible response to the right. I am interested in defending my country and its interests. You know, establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and ensuring the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. And being a fiscally conservative American, I am not less or more annoyed by pointless pork barrel programs than I am by huge military expenditures that appear not to achieve any of those basic goals, other than to say when we're building bridges on federal money in West Virginia to span a 6' creek, that's a waste, sure. Now compare that to the costs of occupying Iraq: roughly how many 'terrorists' have we tracked down and put out of action since the invasion, and at what cost?
[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
ME: See, the general problem with "the left" and "the right" -- and unless it's purely in the name of baiting each other for sport, I hardly see the point of insisting on these polarizations
But this makes simple minds happy, and what else is needed in a country who holds a torch of Democracy and Freedom???
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
I mean in totalitarian countries they would kill you, and here they simply cannot get what the hell you are talking about. It's Progress, or isn't it?
--------------------
"Now we are left with nothing better than barking at each other." - Eugene Konnonov
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
If you're still listening, point to where you think I am telling you what's on your mind.

TP: After 9/11, Bush said that this is a war against terrorism EVERYWHERE not just in Afghanistan and not just against Al Queda.
ME: I thought we went into Iraq because they refused to allow inspections for WMDs, and we had said their time was up: come clean or we'll count them for you. Is that what you're calling a war on terror?
TP: I fully support him now just as I fully supported the liberation of Kuwait in 1990.
ME: Would you send your children to fight in Iraq today? I'm not asking would you bless them if they decided to go; would you encourage them to go?
TP: You see, I have friends who died in the World Trade Center. I spent 10 years of my life working in those towers. I have been to the site and placed flowers in the ruins.
ME: And in the name of those killed and the violation of our soil, you now want to kick ass wherever your fury leads you? If a man on the street kills your friend with a thrown rock and runs away, and the guy standing next to him laughs, do you announce your intention to kill the guy that was standing there, then systematically go about the business of killing everyone between you and him? Are all those people killers too, because they got in your way?
TP: Sadaam may not have been directly involved in the WTC but he was involved in terrorism, of that there is no question. Whther it is terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, or Syria they all represent the same thing.
ME: Is it imperative that we "take down" all those countries in order to set the world at ease? Failing that, will the lives lost in the WTC attack be avenged only when these four countries have been taken?
This war on terrorism sounds very much like the game plan for the war on drugs: hugely expensive, no concrete objectives to measure effectiveness, and always more 'enemies' to replace the ones we've caught. Maybe it's time to admit that getting all John Wayne and Randolph Scott, while emotionally satisfying to some, won't actually solve anything.
----------------
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I mean in totalitarian countries they would kill you, and here they simply cannot get what the hell you are talking about. It's Progress, or isn't it?
Murdered or misunderstood? What would you rather be?
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Murdered or misunderstood? What would you rather be?
Gee, I am just trying to answer this question for myself right now
--------------------
"Now we are left with nothing better than barking at each other." - Eugene Konnonov
Eleison Zeitgeist
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
JM: No doubt you have a solution then?
ME: Is this Proof by Shifting the Burden of Proof? I don't offer a solution, therefore a) I have no right to question the current program; or b) the current program must be the best available choice; or c) both?
JM: Maybe we should all just be friends, join in a big circle hand-in-hand, and sing the Barney song? If not that, how about appeasement? It's been so successful in the past. Maybe we should just ignore them and hope they go away?
ME: This doesn't strike me merely as Proof by Sarcasm, but if the only two choices you are suggesting are blasting people off the face of the earth or surrendering to them, I'd call it a Proof by Limited Options.

[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]

You do not offer an alternative "solution". Therefore, IMHO, you have no "right to question the current program" and to infer that it is wrong. When you do have an alternative solution, than question all you want... RIGHT NOW, this is the only solution the USA has; this is the only solution YOU have. If this is all we have, it is the BEST solution.. think about it ;-) EVERYTHING ELSE IS WHINING!!! i.e., stop whining bee-aucht, and get back to cutting bait :-) or at least trying to be constructive and look for other solutions...
I am open to suggestions. I care not for people dying - Iraqi, syrians, irans, etc... or even americans... But dont try to side step the issue with meaningless drivel...OH, hang on...... well at least try...

-Eleison

p.s. another sllooooowww work day...
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
You do not offer an alternative "solution". Therefore, IMHO, you have no "right to question the current program" and to infer that it is wrong.
Absolutely. Anybody who got an insight that 2 + 2 is Not 5, is a Liberal ( ), an Enemy of the State and doesn't contribute a freaking dime to to the progress.
--------------------
"EVERYTHING ELSE IS WHINING!" -- Eleison Zeitgeist
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Thomas, none of the questions you highlighted are intended as telling you what you think. They're questions that tell you what I think, based on what you said. What you had to say sounded to me reactionary, dangerous, half-cocked. Are you serious?
If so, the questions I asked are a first-pass understanding of what you could possibly mean. I'm inferring; feel free to tell me how much I got you wrong. I know you like that.
[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Eleison Zeitgeist:

I am open to suggestions.

Help raise the world's average IQ, and go play on the interstate.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
If so, the questions I asked are a first-pass understanding of what you could possibly mean. I'm inferring; feel free to tell me how much I got you wrong. I know you like that.
Oh, now I get it. They were questions. Like... Michael, so you hate being an American? Michael, so you would prefer to see Americans die in terrorist attacks everyday? Now I get it. Just innocent questions. What a stupid game. You can now play with by yourself.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
What you had to say sounded to me reactionary, dangerous, half-cocked. Are you serious?
What you had to say sounds like a flaming liberal twit that would rather see 3,000 dead Americans in American streets than see 100 dead Americans in Bagdhad's streets.
:roll:
 
GeeCON Prague 2014
 
subject: Questions